Congratulations to Tony and Karen Schaker and all the Five Star staff! What a beautiful new office you have at the corner of Mountain and Austin Street in Seguin, TX!
Have you noticed the 4.58% interest rate today?!?!? Use the mortgage calculator on my home page to calculate estimated payments. You will need to add in taxes and insurance. Note: If you put 20% down you will not have to pay P.M.I. (Private Mortgage Insurance), which is a chunk of change each monthly payment. Plus, you will have great equity in your home! It’s a fantastic time to buy!! I have a couple of wonderful lenders that I would love to refer you to if you need one.
Welcome to Seguin Ace Homes!! I am pleased to announced that Brent Hammond and Hunter Shadburne with Austin Civil Engineering, Inc. & Ace Homes are building a new garden home in beautiful Easthill in Seguin. Swing by 1708 Nordberg to see the construction underway. Completion is expected around August 10th, so now is the time to negotiate a contract and get everything ready to move in.
Note: Hunter and Brent are both good Aggies. . .Whoop!
Flood Insurance Program Back in Business Until Sept. 30 July 1, 2010 The U.S. Senate last night approved a temporary reauthorization of the federal flood insurance program until Sept. 30. The reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is retroactive to June 1, the date the program was halted. The unanimous Senate vote sent the measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. The House had previously approved reauthorization. Once President Obama signs the bill into law, the NFIP should return to normal operations, according to the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”). Also, since the extension is retroactive, any new policy applications or renewals that were signed and submitted during the hiatus will be effective from the date of application or, in the case of waiting periods, the waiting period will start from the date of application. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2010/07/01/111226.htm
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–The Senate Wednesday approved more time for homebuyers seeking to claim a federal tax credit, but tabled a six-month extension of jobless benefits.
The homebuyer measure would help only those that entered into binding contracts before April 30. It would give such homebuyers until Sept. 30 to close the sale. Under current law, they would have had to close by today to be eligible for tax credits.
It passed the Senate by unanimous voice vote. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the homebuyer measure, which the House passed earlier this week.
From WSJ – More evidence that homebuilding (and real estate) has bottomed out and is improving. Here are some highlights from the article:
- Pulte is buying lots. One deal for 88 lots ($64,700 per lot) and another for 100 lots in the Phoenix area.
- Nationally, finished-lot prices, which saw low-single digit increases in the first quarter, are up nearly 20% from the trough.
- Builder’s confidence has substantially increased. “The builders think this thing has turned and they’re making sizeable investments in both finished lots and raw land.”
- Lot prices in Phoenix and Southern California’s Inland Empire have soared more than 60%. Sacramento, Orlando and Los Angeles are up between 30% and 40%.
- As home sales collapsed, builders slashed staff and hoarded money. Now, several—including Pulte, KB Home and Toll Brothers Inc.—boast more than $1 billion in cash. Also, 16 home builders estimate they are due tax refunds totaling more than $2.6 billion, thanks to a part of the economic-stimulus bill.
- Toll has spent about $100 million on some 3,000 home sites since November and is actively “searching for additional opportunities” nationwide
- Standard Pacific Corp. plans to spend as much as $400 million on land deals this year, up from $64 million last year. “Our strategy is to overbuy in this 24-month window” before home prices start to rise, said Ken Campbell, Standard Pacific’s chief executive.
It’s time for spring cleaning and that leads me to think about homes which are ready to sell and those which are not.
There is nothing like walking into a home for sale that’s fresh, bright, clean, and looking good. Of course, the opposite is true too. It is highly unmotivating for buyers to walk through the house and not be able to study it because it’s cluttered, dirty, and you can hardly see out the windows. I have seen many a buyer who will overlook a better deal just because the house was cluttered, dirty, or uncared for. Curb appeal is a must, both inside and out. With these thoughts in mind, here are a few tips.
Tidy up. The less cluttered a house is the more open it feels. I have been in 30’x20′ rooms that felt like they had less space than 15’x15′ room on the next house, just because of clutter.
Clean windows, and screens go a long way. Windows give a much better appearance when clean and really dull up the room when dirty. If you have torn screens it’s worth the minimal cost to replace or repair them.
Insect nests can be a real detractor. It makes the home appear to be neglected and makes potential buyers feel very uneasy about being stung and wondering what could be in the attic and walls.
Make sure you have been replacing your filters, and if you have missed a few replacements make sure you have fresh filters and have wiped the air vents and ceiling fans. Most people don’t look up in their own home, but when a potential buyer is looking at a house a dirty air vent can be a big turn off.
A little “ROUNDUP” goes a long way. Cleaning up the cracks in the side walk and giving a nice edge to the fence lines, etc give the house a nice finished look.
Finally and most importantly if you have the opportunity to touch up or even repaint all or sections of you home then take advantage of it. Fresh paint gives a home that “new home smell” and really brightens up a room compared to a marked up wall.
Homes for Sale
Several federal agencies have properties to sell. In fact, HUD sells both single family homes and multifamily properties. Check them out – one might be just what you’re looking for!
Single Family Homes for Sale
Interest rates are giving people the opportunity to really take a stronger look at real estate. With today’s interest rates and the number of distressed properties on today’s market, many people are finding ripe opportunities to get into a great investment property or purchase that new home. Sellers are welcoming the lower rates to help quickly move their homes.
This week Freddie Mac released results in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.99 percent. This is down for the third week in a row in 2010, and once again dipping into some of the lowest rates ever seen.
The 15-year notes this week averaged 4.40 percent down from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent.
Buyers who have been on the fence need to take a serious look at opportunities which are out there and capitalize on today’s market conditions. Especially here in Texas, where property value trends have performed much better than much of the country.