Serving Central California
Fresno County • Tulare County • Madera County • Kings County

Perfect Time to Buy | REM #53

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What if I told you that NOW is the perfect time to buy a home . . .and could prove it?
I’d like to give you some real facts behind this busy real estate market.
Check this out –
A year ago the local real estate market was saturated with buyers. Inventory was low & demand was super high so properties received multiple offers and home prices ran up.
Then interest rates rose in the fall, inventory began to creep up, and demand slowed.
As this happened . . .sellers began to reduce their prices to align with the waining demand. Then, in late March 2019, the unthinkable has happened.
Interest rates just dropped. . . more than once.
So . . .here’s the bottom line. This is a perfect scenario:
Inventory is still up – you have choices.
Interest rates are down – you can afford more.
Sellers have reduced their prices. Always good for you!
Are you ready to buy?

The First Thing | REM #52

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Have you ever wondered what the first thing you should do when you buy your home?

Besides unpacking…

Besides getting settled in…

And NO – I’m not talking about the first of many DIY projects.

Recently I heard that the average amount of money a homeowner spends in their first year of homeownership is $12,000. It’s no wonder why homeownership is so good for our economy!

However for all of the paint projects, change in flooring, and upgraded appliances a new homeowner might want to do . . .

This ONE thing should be done before all else:

Are you ready for it?

Change the locks. Change the combinations. Change the gate codes. Change the garage door opener codes.

You may have no idea who the previous homeowner shared them with!

Just a simple idea to pass along that might make the first few nights sleep a little more peaceful.

Agents Helping Agents Takeaways | REM #51

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This past week I had the privilege of observing an event we call AHA – Agents Helping Agents.

There were nearly 100 agents in attendance to hear from 7 top producers.

I noticed 3 things that you might find refreshing to hear:
1) The top producers were committed to sharing . . .that’s right – sharing what they’ve learned over their careers. In a day and age where it’s all about winning and a cut throat mentality . . .this was awesome to witness.

2) They are unequivocally committed to serving their customers. I heard it over and over – it’s not about the commission – it’s about doing the right thing.

3) They were striving to improve how they market your home. They aren’t willing to settle. They are always learning.

So next time you interview an agent to help you with your home search, consider one like this – who’s attending an event like AHA.

Home Condition and Inspections | REM #50

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One of the fears home buyers have when finding a home they want to make an offer on . . . Is it’s condition.

What if there’s something wrong?

What if expensive repairs are needed?

What if there’s a roof leak?

These fears are justified!

And that’s exactly why the California Realtors Association residential purchase agreement (or RPA) has an inspection contingency.

As a buyer, you have the right to have the home professionally inspected.

You have the right to have a roofer, a termite, and an air conditioning contractor inspect the property.

And you aren’t limited there!

Based on what your inspectors find, the RPA says you can ask the seller to fix the issue, ask for a credit to fix it yourself, or cancel the purchase.

As you’re looking for a home to purchase, be conscious of the condition of the home, but know that your Realtor has a contingency to protect you if something isn’t right.

Springing Forward | REM #49

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What do you think of when it’s time for our clocks to spring forward?

Are you excited about more daylight after work? I know I am.

Just like we push our clocks forward this weekend, the housing market is springing forward.

Spring forward implies that tension has been building up and when you look back at the last several months that’s exactly what’s been happening with housing.

Inventory was at an all time low last year

Buyers were fatigued and frustrated

Multiple offers & over bidding were common place

Yet in the last several months, inventory, the number of homes for sale has been increasing;

The spring has been building tension.

So . . .we enter the spring selling season, with mortgage interest rates at near historic lows and buyers jumping off the fence to purchase. . . a healthy real estate market!

Act quickly and list now. Beat the flood of competition that will list in the next few months and benefit from the housing market springing forward.

A Good Year for Buyers and Sellers | REM #48

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Why is 2019 a good year for both buyers and sellers?

For buyers, interest rates have been – and still are – expected to rise in 2019… but so far, they have actually gone down from where they were at the end of the year. While rates are dependent on factors such as credit score and loan type… in most cases, they remain below 5% which is historically low. Low rates combined with steadily increasing inventory make it a great time to buy!

For sellers here in Fresno County, even though inventory has gone up 27% since last January, it is still considered a seller’s market at 3.4 months supply of inventory. However, it’s not expected to be that way for long. Inventory is expected to continue to rise which means more competition and more days on market.

If you’ve thought about buying or selling, call one of our trusted professionals here at guarantee real estate and make it happen today!

Video featuring:

Jeff Starbuck, Sales Manager, Palm Herndon
Aaron Waldrum, Operations Manager, Palm Herndon

Homeownership Benefits | REM #47

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Did you know there are significant tax benefits to owning a home?

While I don’t have time to go thru the details of the changes, let me encourage you to speak to your tax professional . . . especially if you itemize your deductions.
Here’s the top tax benefits to owning a home:

  • Mortgage Interest on homes up to $750 thousand
  • The first $10,000 in Property Taxes (and both of those should cover most homes in Central California)
  • Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades
  • A home office
  • Home improvements (with some caveats)
  • Interest on a home equity line of credit or HELOC

Some of these tax deductions may be as little as $1,500, but they all add up! When you add price appreciation and your mortgage payments increasing your equity, these tax benefits sure do make home ownership attractive.Did you know there are significant tax benefits to owning a home?
Mortgage Interest,
Property Taxes,
Private Mortgage Insurance,
Energy Efficiency Upgrades
a home office
home improvements (with some caveats)
Interest on a home equity line of credit . . .

While I don’t have time to talk about each potential tax deduction, and you really should talk to your tax professional about what you could use . . . .
Are these the real reason you should buy a home?
Or is it to build equity?
To pay your own mortgage instead of somebody else’s?
Is to provide safe shelter to your family?
The reality is that most of us – buying a home is about fulfilling a dream and making a house, YOUR home!
Whatever the reason may be for you, there are plenty of great reasons . . .
consult a REALTOR® or maybe your tax professional to find yours

Advantages | REM #46

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Did you know you have an advantage in real estate right now?

If you could use an advantage in real estate – and it’s not the typical, “buy low, sell high” type of advice, what would you do with it?

In boxing – you hear about one of the boxers having a reach advantage.

In hockey – you have the power play and a numbers advantage.

In basketball – one team might have a height or speed advantage.

In all of those examples – having the advantage leads to one thing – winning.

In real estate, having an advantage might mean being a cash buyer with no contingencies. It might mean having a conventional loan when other buyers are offering with FHA.

However, there’s an ability to have an extra advantage in real estate. That advantage? It’s called representation. Having a trusted advisor. Having someone in your corner, on your team that represents your best interest. Someone that can help you negotiate from a position of strength and advantage, everytime, regardless of your circumstances.

That person – is your Realtor.

Updated VA Loan Program: Real Estate Minute #45

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Hello…  this is Sandy Darling, Sales Manager for the Fig Garden office at Guarantee Real Estate, and I’m here to tell you about an exciting new program for the veterans in our Community. 

So often sellers are reluctant to accept a VA offer, as there is a perception that it will cost the seller more money when all is said-and-done.

Well, times have changed and so has the VA loan program…  but, just to make sure that our veterans get an additional “leg up” on their home purchase, the Fresno Association of Realtors® has a grant program from the Housing Affordability Fund at the California Association of Realtors®. 

With this grant, we are able to give participating sellers a $2,000 incentive to sell to a veteran.  Now that’s a win for both the buyer and the Seller!  And we like that, especially when it helps somebody who has served our great nation.  

If you’re thinking of selling your home, or you’re a veteran looking to buy — please contact me or the Fresno Association of Realtors® for more information.  

Why List High?: Real Estate Minute #44

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Why don’t we list high so we can leave room for negotiation?
This is a common question most home sellers have in pricing their property for sale.
If that’s you – you’re actually right thinking you need to take this into account in how homes get sold. The reality however, is that homebuyers are deterred by this.

You see homebuyers often see homes priced too high as a sign of an unmotivated seller.

If you come out of the gate, overpriced, homebuyers and agents that show properties write you off. The higher the price of the property, the less the seller seems they need to sell it. . . at least that’s what buyers believe from their past experiences.

Now, this approach also assumes that you’ll lower your price down later. Most buyers don’t realize that you’ve lowered the price and depending on email notifications, or flyers to go out means a good chance it’ll go unnoticed.

My advice – price it right from the beginning. Your odds of agents showing it with interested buyers are much higher.

I’m just spit-balling here, but what if you turned this a little like so:

Why don’t we list high so we can leave room for negotiation?
This is a common question most home sellers have in pricing their property for sale — and it’s on every sellers mind at one point or another whether they ask the question or not.

I certainly understand that line of thinking, especially when everyone has been saying how hot the market has been for so long. The reality, however, is that this approach can really work against you. In today’s world, where neighborhood comps and pricing tools are just a few keystrokes away — for anyone with access to the internet — it becomes very clear when a home is over-priced. Being perceived as over-priced will deter potential buyers. Your strategy of lowering the price if you need to — only works if you know that you need to. You will likely never hear from interested buyers who perceive you as overpriced. And you don’t want to be perceived as an unmotivated seller.

My advice… price it right from the beginning. You’ll be glad you did.

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