Good News From The Real Estate Bust! – End of Subruban Communities

December 20, 2009

The housing crush has had a range of side effects across the nation. However, with more and more new home developments struggling to fill the new properties, a new phenomenon has appeared. There are fewer and fewer new suburban developments showing up on the fringes of communities.

Expansion that was so rampant in the real estate boom has suddenly disappeared or stalled midproject, leaving empty houses gaping at passerbys.Some of these communities are filled with homes that are in foreclosure which makes it harder to sell a home next door. Home owners have vacant lots next to them and they need to stop foreclosure themselves.

What are the pros and cons to the recent disappearance of these suburban communities? Besides the obvious financial troubles with the construction companies associated with these areas, there is an impact for the local homeowners as well.

With fewer inhabitants and stalled increases in the homeowners to these commuter communities, morning commutes into the city are less than what might have been if these suburban areas had filled. Enticed by lower prices and more house available through these suburban communities, more and more homeowners looked to purchase these properties during the real estate boom years. However, as the real estate market has stopped, these homes are not being filled, making the commute to the city a little easier.

Areas like Prince William County have shown the impact of this suburban community disappearance. With a deflated real estate market and increasing gas prices, the foreclosures have pushed median home prices down 32 percent in just the last year alone. Fewer individuals are on the interstate and more are crushed into crowded buses headed to Washington D.C. This area of the county has seen the impact of tightened credit restrictions and fewer buyers. The bubble has popped here and the impact was swift and sudden.

Zillow recently performed an analysis of markets to determine what has happened to the inner and outer suburbs in major cities nationwide. What they found was very interesting. Essentially, the prices for inner suburbs, those within a ten mile radius from the center of the city had changed little. However, as the radius grew larger and larger as far as fifty miles from the center of the city, the prices dropped drastically.

Of course, if the city was close enough to another major metropolitan area such as the case with Washington D.C. and Baltimore, for example the prices would begin to rise again as proximity to the neighboring town increased. Other cities proved the opposite reaction. Some areas like Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit that often have rough and tumble downtown areas still saw improved prices in the suburbs far away from the center of the city. Detroit has a weak economy in the center of town, making homes here less desirable than the benefits offered in the surrounding communities. Atlanta, on the other hand, has had a number of premium condos built that has offset the nearby home values.

An oversupply of new homes in the suburbs is affecting the existing home communities nearby. As fewer and fewer new home developments are being purchased, these properties are drastically reducing their prices to get the homes sold. Oftentimes, these price drops ultimately cause the entire neighborhood to lower prices because the competition is all around.


Adapting to the Real Estate Market: Flipping and Renting

August 27, 2009

Okay, the real estate market has gone down and a quick rebound is not likely, or possible. Homeowners are finding viable options to continue to make money in the real estate market despite the recent changes.

By adapting to the environment, savvy real estate investors are still flipping home properties with a twist. They are purchasing lower cost single family houses in areas of great potential and updating them. However, rather than putting them on the market for sale right away, these flippers are becoming landlords, renting the property to keep building equity and pay the mortgages.

How long are these new landlords renting their flipped houses for? On average, the versatile businesses are renting as long as five years or as short as only two until they can find a home buyer. They are keeping the cash from the rented properties in the short term, but are banking on the idea that an improved real estate market in the future will help them get the profits they are aiming for years down the road. Of course, this type of stalled profitability attracts a limited number of former flippers, but it is an increasing option for real estate investors.

One of the keys to success with the flip and rent strategy is to avoiding subdivisions. Typically, the targeted houses are no more than $80,000 to $90,000 and will be victims of a crashing real estate market whose values were vastly higher even a year ago. These homes need upgrades and improvements that many future homeowners shy away from. By improving these houses and then renting them, these flipping real estate investors are actually playing a role in improving the market by rescuing and improving homes whose needed changes might have been outside the scope of many property owners. Neighborhoods might have suffered with these eyesores in the past, but they are now able to enjoy an improved property in their surroundings, thanks to the flippers.

Many of the houses that are chosen for these investment and rental properties are selected if they fit a particular set of requirements. For example, many of these homes are victim of the boom and bust cycle of the recent real estate market. Their overestimated home value has wrecked havoc on the market and neighborhood in general, so this financial investment can be a great choice for both the individual investor and neighborhood alike. Also, there are specific location, price and physical criteria that many investing business will choose before they will purchase the soon to be rental property.

To find many of the houses these real estate investors purchase they use companies who privide real estate leads. The real estate leads consist of contact information from how owners who want or need to sell their house. Many of the home owners who ask to be contacted by a real estate professional are motivated to sell their home quickly.

This smart investment plan can be a great way to improve neighborhoods and allow individual real estate investors to gain capital and long term equity in a stalled and shaky real estate market. Although typically known as risk takers, these particular flipping companies are making long term, calculated investments that should pay off in the future.

If you are a home owner and are in a financial situation and thinking how can I sell my house fast, a good place to receive an offer on your house is your local home buyer or investor. There are real estate investors in every major real estate market who purchase homes quickly from home owners who need to sell. Many of the homes are in foreclosure, the owners are transferring out of the area, or the owners just need to move quickly.


Foreclosure Rates – Have We Hit Bottom Yet?

June 29, 2009

One way to determine if the state of our economy is improving is by monitoring foreclosure rates. Foreclosure rates across the country vary in different regions.

Foreclosures can signal a huge change in the real estate market. While they can be hot deals for buyers looking to purchase large properties at a fraction of their valued cost, the impact foreclosures have on the market overall can be a highly negative one. Foreclosed homes are typically in disrepair and a crumbling mess long before the bank steps in to take over. In addition, selling a home that is highly undervalued will undercut overall price comparisons in the neighborhood, which devalues numerous homes in its wake.

As the economy continues to decline, the number of foreclosed homes continues to grow. While some analysts will tell you that the foreclosed homes and sluggish real estate market are signs that the real estate bubble is simply righting itself after years of a bubble inflated industry, homeowners with nearby foreclosed homes in their neighborhood and the victims themselves will often feel at a loss on how to control the negative spin.

Overall, 1.9 million homes have recently gone into foreclosure across the county. The average sale on these foreclosed homes is roughly $172,000. Of course, this number reflects both large and small properties alike, as well as homes whose owners had been paying their mortgages on time for years before the economic downturn made paying their mortgage payments more difficult.

What are the biggest markets for foreclosures across the nation? Is your state one of the areas experiencing the highest rates of foreclosure? Consult this list of states that experience high foreclosures to see if your state is one of the most affected areas:

Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Utah, Virginia

California tops the list at over 92,000 foreclosures. Meanwhile, Florida runs in second place with nearly 59,000 foreclosures. Nevada, Arizona and Michigan each have roughly 15,000 foreclosures, while Ohio, Illinois, Georgia and Texas has approximately 10,000 foreclosures. Virginia ends the list with just over 5,000 foreclosed homes.

Foreclosed homes aren’t limited to a specific economic bracket, either. Every neighborhood has become vulnerable, including high end homes in desirable neighborhoods. Many analysts blame adjustable rate mortgages or no doc loans as a major cause of the increased foreclosures. Since these  no doc loans don’t require verification of the borrowers’ income, they pose a much higher risk than other traditional forms of home loans.

The top five states California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan constitute the greatest percentage of the nations foreclosures in June. As the market restructures and the economy continues to adjust to financial changes, expect the rate of foreclosed homes to decease slowly over time.

After all, foreclosed homes put pressure on financial institutions to stop lending to anyone with a potentially risky financial profile. For this reason, even secure homeowners cannot sell their homes as new buyers are unable to obtain the funds they need to purchase new property on the market.

If you need are in a situation where you are thinking how can I sell my house fast, I suggest contacting a local home buying expert in your area. Local home buying experts exist in every major city in the United States. Many times these home buyers can purchase homes quickly so you can move on with your life.


Sell A House Quick In A Slow Real Estate Market

October 2, 2008

The real estate market has not just slowed down, it is almost standing still. Each and every month there are more houses on the market for sale and les homes are sold. So how do you sell a house fast in the very slow real estate market? You have to find and receive an offer from the right home buyer for your house.

When it comes to selling your home you have very few options, especially if you need a quick sale. You can try to sell your house by yourself with a for sale with owner company. You can list your home with a real estate agent who will put your home on the multiple listing service and hope for a buyer. Or you can sell your home to a real estate investor who buys homes fast from motivated home sellers.

There are many reasons home owners need to sell their house quickly, hare are just a few.
Going through a divorce
Need to stop foreclosure fast
Inherited a property
Your house needs fixed up
You are being transferred by your job
You do not have enough equity to pay realtor commissions
You mortgage is going to adjust and you will not be able to afford the payment
Recent loss of job

The real estate market is very slow across the nation. The home that you used to love can quickly become a huge life anchor limiting you from happiness. This is why I recommend receiving a free, confidential, no obligation offer for your house from a local home buyer. They exist in every major metro market in the nation and they buy houses fast.

Not all real estate investors are out to take advantage of home owners. Many are hard working individuals who make a living from solving complicated real estate situations.
So in order to sell a house in this current economy I suggest using the sometime less obvious way to sell your house, your local home buyer. You will not have to pay any money and you can move from your house quickly.


When Should I Buy My Next House

August 18, 2008

As if the home buying process isnt nerve wracking enough, an unstable market presents unique challenges to future home buyers. With the steady stream of bad news, increased foreclosures and tightened restrictions on mortgages, it can be more difficult to buy a new home now than it has been in the past. Lenders are getting picky and it can spell bad news for those individuals on the house market.

If you already qualify for a mortgage, however, and have a good income with strong credit, you can be in a prime spot to purchase a home. With declining home prices and an established mortgage, the house market is not as treacherous for established homeowners as it can be for first time buyers. There are some tips and tricks, however, to help you stay within a safe area for your future home purchase despite an unstable market scenario.

Do not over reach yourself with a large mortgage. It might be great that you can afford a certain price on paper, but you need to take the time to work out how much your mortgage payments will actually be each month. Can you afford to have this as a monthly expense while still saving for your retirement, college, increased portfolio, or a new car? What are the bills that will accompany a house that is that large? Can you afford those along with your mortgage? What are your annual taxes? Know this information before you get too caught up in a big number that will mean little to you until you break it down in monthly installments.

Real estate agent differences can affect home buying as well. All real estate agents are not the same. Some will call you regularly while others prefer to stay quiet until they have found the exact right house for you. Ask a number of questions to your potential real estate agent to find the one that is best suited to your personality. Do they experience with title searches? Can they help you spot potential problems with the property? Having a good real estate agent that fits your personality will make all the difference in your future home shopping experience.

Even the best real estate agent can miss some things. Look online to find crime statistics, school districts, home prices and comparables. You can find an array of quality information about your future potential neighborhood by taking the time to search online. If you are armed with this extensive knowledge, you can make better deals and know what you are getting into with your future home. Look for virtual house tours and extensive pictures. Check out the neighborhood, the annual taxes, and much more at the touch of your fingers.

Walk the Streets of your future neighborhood. No matter how much information you find online, you cant really know a neighborhood until you spend some time there. Look for open houses in the neighborhood that are not the property you are interested in to see other homes in the area, meet the neighbors. Drive through your future neighborhood at all hours of the day to see what kind of neighbors you would have. Are there a lot of kids, working parents, or older couples? You can find this out through your frequent drives.

Negotiate with the home sellers of your future home. You do not know what the sellers situation might be and it never hurts to try to negotiate a lower price. Although it might insult them and you could lose the house forever, some home buyers have found that asking for more in their offers has been very successful for them. If the seller is under a lot of pressure to sell or has had few offers, they might be more willing to listen to your demands.

Up front, foreclosed properties might seem like a steal. They are much less expensive and can be a great deal when it comes time to sell. However, if the homeowner has been unable to make their mortgage payments, it is highly likely that they have been able to keep up with the general maintenance of the home itself. You will have to purchase a foreclosed property as is many times and you could be stuck with a property that has larger issues than you are willing to deal with.

When you purchase your next house, get into a mortgage you can afford. Especially for first time buyers, getting a good mortgage and knowing which lenders are right for you can be tricky. There are unethical lenders out there offering deals that are literally too good to be true. Finding a good mortgage and lender can ensure the stability of your financial portfolio and home status. If you are caught with an unsavory lender and something bad happens in the future, the status of your home and ability to secure another mortgage will come into question. You could lose everything due to bad choices made now with your mortgage company.

Get a home inspection. You need an unbiased view of the property you are about to buy. In order to ensure that you know of all your propertys potential problems up front, it pays to get a great home inspector. You want to be able to trust the person and know that what he or she says is legitimate. If your home inspection finds problems that far exceed what you are willing to deal with, you have the opportunity to back out before it is too late. The home inspection is the smartest way to buy a home no matter what the economic situation is.

Finally, buy your home with a long term plan in mind. A home purchase is a huge investment and the savvy buyers look to find a house that will fit them now and years down the road. You can invest in your home and make any necessary upgrades to help you grow with the property, but staying with your home will help to increase your investment and make you more financially secure in the future.

If you have bad credit, consider purchasing a house through a lease purchase or rent to own. Now is a great time to purchase a house at a fixed purchase price, and rent the house until you can afford to get your own mortgage. This gives you time to raise your credit score which will lower your monthly payments by getting a better interest rate.


Sell My House In Houston Texas

August 11, 2008

Home prices in Houston Texas have held steady while the rest of the nation is seeing an over 7 percent decrease in home prices. In the 1st quarter of the year Houston Texas saw an increase in home prices of approximately 0.8 percent. The median home price is now 148,400. This is good news if you live in Houston.

Although there is good news if you are a home owner in Houston, 0.8 percent is not much of an increase and if you purchased your house at the peak of the real estate market you can be sure that this slight increase has not had much affect in your home value. In fact even with the slight increase in home appreciation there are still many home owners who can not afford their mortgage and are falling into foreclosure.

If you are from Houston Texas than you know the hard situation you are faced with if you need to sell your house. If you purchased your home recently you probably owe more for your house than what it is worth. You can not afford your house so you know you need to sell it, the problem is who do you sell to?

Well believe it or not there are home buyers who are buying houses in Houston. Many people do not know that professional home buyers or real estate investors buy houses throughout the nation. Home buyers are real estate investors who some times buy properties and hold for long term investments, thus allowing them to pay more for your house.

If you owe more for your Houston Texas house than what it is worth then you should consider selling your house to a professional home buyer. They will negotiate with the bank to get your name released from the mortgage and complete a successful short sale. This way you will not get a foreclosure status on your credit report, which will save you lots of money and hassle in your future.

You should also consider contacting a professional home buyer if you need to sell your home fast. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, being relocated by your job, inherited a house and now want to sell it, going through a divorce, or have family health problems and need to sell your home.

There are many ways to sell your house. You can sell it For Sale By Owner, list your home with a real estate agent, or you can sell your house fast to a local home buyer. Some times the fastest and best way to sell your house is to sell to a real estate investors. This allows you to get your equity from your house fast and move on.

So if you own a Houston house, or any house for that matter and are near foreclosure, or need to sell your house for one reason or another, do not give up. Contact your local home buyer and get a free consultation on your home selling options. There is no charge for any services provided by professional home buyers so you have nothing to loose.


The Trouble with Mortgages

August 4, 2008

Have you been looking for a new home lately? If you are one of the lower numbers of Americans looking for a new home and a new mortgage, you might be in for a surprise. New mortgages have gotten more difficult to secure as the housing sector fights to eliminate the defaulting mortgage disasters that have dictated the market activity lately.

While new mortgages might be more scarce, the long-term impact of more stable mortgages cannot be underestimated. Much of the trouble in the housing market currently is due to poor choices by uneducated home buyers and shady practices by lending businesses who were looking for a quick profit without regard to the overall impact these unstable mortgages would have on the economy.

The recent troubles of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are in direct result to the ailing mortgage market. Borrowers are paying for the mistakes of others by paying roughly 10% more in monthly mortgage costs. Why the higher costs for people that have not defaulted on their own payments? These additional costs are the answer to the lack of confidence in the real estate market. In other words, not only are new mortgages more scarce, they cost more as well, doubly hitting new home buyers. Unfortunately, these negative aspects do nothing to stimulate the stagnant real estate market as a whole.

The cost of borrowing money has increased as businesses like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had to borrow money in the bond market to pay for the current mortgages they have received from lenders. As the negative financial situation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sustains, the additional costs are filtered down to lenders looking to establish a new home mortgage. Also, as it is more expensive for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to obtain mortgages, it will increase overall mortgage rates as well.

Last summer, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was roughly 1.5% higher than the yield on a 10-year Treasury note. Now, the rate is about 2.5% points and have increased .3% since late June alone as a reflection of the troubles of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

More and more lenders are tightening their standards, either because of their own reluctance to get brought into the current mortgage mess or because of new government standards that will most likely dictate the new regulations. Some of the new standards include escrow accounts for taxes and a more thorough review of the future home buyers income and ability to pay the full mortgage payment each month. As more and more lenders are scared they will lose mortgages, they are demanding that current applicants provide a very clean and precise application to avoid future complications.

Initially, when the mortgages problems began, the government called on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help with assisting lenders whose loans were defaulting. Now with the questionable status of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government sponsors, there is a risky and worried feeling in the marketplace, calling into question the ability of these sponsors to help lenders at all.


The Pain of Home Over-Improvement

August 3, 2008

Upgrade your kitchen and master bath and you will instantly see a high financial payout is the common wisdom in the home improvement market. But putting in high-end appliances and upgrades to your home does not instantly ensure a full recoup of the costs plus profit. There are other factors involved in a smart home improvement plan.

Updating a kitchen with all of the latest high-end materials like granite countertops and cherry cabinets used to be a sure-fire way to improve a home, and its price on the market. Nowadays, however, home sellers are discovering that they might have taken on too many home improvements and priced themselves out of their neighborhood.

There is much more inventory on the market currently than there was during the real estate boom. For this reason, home buyers are less and less impressed with granite countertops and custom design work. However, for the sellers who have spent thousands with the hope that the improvements would help them sell their homes fast and for more money, a nightmare awaits. Upscale renovations are now returning roughly 70% of their initial costs, giving many home sellers a startling shock. Sellers who have thought their upgrades to be a sure thing are instead left wondering what went wrong.

The danger and pain of over-improving a home is growing. Fewer and fewer high-end projects are seeing the profits that were promised and investors are not seeing the return they expect.

An upscale bathroom renovation can cost an average of $50,590. However, analysts estimate that only $34,588 can be added to a home value, making only a 68.4% return. In 2006, bathroom renovations would show a 72.8% return. Kitchens can have a better return overall with roughly 74.1%.

If a homeowner is making the changes only to help with the home sale and price, the results might not be what they expect. However, if the homeowner wants to upgrade the kitchen, bath or overall layout of the home for themselves as well as future home sales, these renovations are the smarter move. These homeowners can enjoy the upgrades and recoup their costs in future sales years after the renovations have been completed. In other words, if you do upgrades for your home for yourself and your family, you are making the smart investment. If you are making these changes only for a no-name sellers increased interest, you will not see a big return on your investment.

The impact of these reports on negative returns on upscale improvements has shown a decline in the demand for high-end materials. The demand for luxury appliances declined from 65% to 47% in 2007. Items like wine refrigerators decreased from 53% to 49%.

Where are the upgrades that make the most sense for your property? Increasing curb appeal is always a smart move. With a strong curb appeal, the property is more apt to get serious buyers who are interested in the home. The return on these investments can be up to 88%, but if the curb appeal secures your future sale, it is worth every penny.


Smart Real Estate Improvements – Windows

July 29, 2008

There are a number of quick and easy tips and tricks you can do to improve your home. Before you start making changes, however, analyze if the change you want to make will have the impact that you are looking for. After all, sales pitches can sometimes fall short of your reality and knowing what you are getting into beforehand can help you make the right choices for your budget.

Changing old single-pane windows to the new double-pane ones can be a smart upgrade for most homes. However, you may hear the enticing statistic that just by changing your old windows to the new, more efficient versions you will cut your heating and cooling bills by 50%.

While the new double-pane windows will be twice as efficient for your home, windows only make up a portion of your homes frame. If you have fewer windows, your energy savings will be proportional to the space covered by these new double-panes. If you have just a fraction of your home using window space, your energy savings might only be 25%. Considering that the price of installing new windows can run as high as $1,200 per window, you will be long gone before your new windows pay for themselves in saved energy costs.

On the other hand, if you need new windows, it makes sense to get the more energy efficient ones. Also, you can use the double-paned items as a future selling point if you plan sell property in upcoming years. For this reason, the choice for double-pane windows would be a smart move. However, if you are installing the windows in a home with less window space only to enjoy reduce energy costs, the price might not be worth it for you.

A recent study from the 2007 National Association of Realtors showed that many sellers got close to 80% of the cost of new windows back with the sale of their home. However, character can make a big difference. If you put in the wrong windows and lose some of your homes architectural style, you can see the loss when it comes time to sell your home.

Look at the current pattern of your windows. If they are multiple pieces of glass separated by dividers, you should consider putting in new windows that feature the same pattern. If the cost of true divided windows is too much for your budget (custom windows can start at $2,000), look into the standard solution of snap-on grilles that give the appearance of divided glass from the inside.

Keeping the character of your home overall is a very important step when considering upgrades and changes to your house. Removing built-in cabinets or mantelpieces can strip the home of the intrinsic value that future buyers are looking for, so before you make any upgrades that involve removing some of the older details of the home, think about the future. Downscale the home and you will be downscale the price as well.


The Lack of Foreclosure Help – Sell My House in Georgia

July 23, 2008

Its been debated. Its been argued. Now, after more than a year of debating, Congress seems set on passing a bill that will help to stop the increasing numbers of home foreclosures in the real estate market. This bill would hopefully stabilize a very shaky real estate and housing market, and benefiting the economy as a whole.

The impact of the rising foreclosures on the overall economy has been widespread and wholly negative. Cities like McDonough Georgia, Stockbridge Georgia, Atlanta, and Augusta Georgia, are far from being affected. As more and more homeowners realize they cannot afford the ticking time bombs that define their mortgages, the number of defaulted mortgages increases. The government has decided to finally step in and provide assistance that will prevent more foreclosures in the future, as well as assisting those individuals in need of help right now.

However, housing expert analysts state that even if the latest bill passes in Congress, the most optimistic forecasts show that only 400,000 of the ailing 3 million homeowners will be saved. The rest will still be stuck in the poor economic state they have found themselves in. In other words, the bill will alleviate some of the troubles, but will certainly not be enough to stem the tide of foreclosures overall.

The latest news coming from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have complicated matters for the bill and for homeowners alike. The Bush administration has added on assistance for these government backed sponsors to the housing bill, which has caused some negative reactions within the government, particularly among Republicans.

The increase in foreclosures has caused an overall decline in home prices. Since the majority of a homeowners overall financial portfolio is in their home equity, a downturn in home prices has dictated a loss in overall economies for families across the country. The addition of vacant homes and slower housing market has also left many construction companies and development planning business in the lurch as fewer and fewer new home sales are being reported.

One proponent of the new housing bill suggests that 4 billion should be spent in communities with a high number of vacant homes to buy and refurnish these properties. The idea behind the funding would allow these properties to be rented and keep them from becoming the new homes of vagrants, drug dealers and homeless people. The presence of these empty homes can bring down the overall value of a neighborhood, affecting even those homeowners that have not defaulted on their mortgages.

Opponents to the bill argue that putting tax dollars to buy foreclosed homes helps only the ailing lenders, but not the overall homeowners who have lost their home and equity. At the end of the day, the 4 billion would go towards these businesses rather than the citizens and homeowners who need it most. A better use of the money, opponents state, is to revise mortgage costs and help them to refinance their mortgages to keep their homes and stay afloat in the troubled market. Overall, efforts are being considered to help the failing housing market and those homeowners struggling to make their monthly payments.

If you are currently thinking, how can I sell my house in McDonough Georgia, sell my house in Stockbridge Georgia, sell my house in Atlanta, or sell my house in Augusta Georgia, then consider contacting your local home buyer. These professionals exist in every major metro area and are real estate professionals. They are real estate investors who solve complicated real estate selling situations and offer hope to those Georgia home owners who are about to loose their house.