Posts Tagged 'Bucks County Real Estate'

Bucks County Real Estate Statistics February 2010

Statistics for last 2 years of Bucks County real estate prices and inventory.

Source: TREND MLS

www.BucksCountyMoves.com

5 Tips to Help You Sell Your Home FAST

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5 Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Fast

 

There is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are currently on the market longer. As a seller, this slow-down means there is more competition for a limited pool of potential buyers. Consider the following five tips to place your home on the fast track to sale:

 

Price It Right

The first 30 days are the most critical. If your home is priced too high, interested buyers may never even tour your listing. The longer the property is on the market, the fewer the prospects.

 

Deciding the value of a home isn’t an exact science. Yet, there is data to help you determine a fair asking price that is right on target. You may want to hire a real estate appraiser for an objective, unbiased estimate. Then consult with a real estate professional who can help you determine true market value based on a comparable market analysis, which will include recent home sale transactions as well as homes currently on the market. From your analysis, you may want to price your home conservatively to give it a competitive edge.

 

Make Your Home Irresistible

Unless they are looking for a fixer-upper, most homesellers are more likely to make a bid on a home that they can enjoy immediately. Therefore, you need to create an environment the buyer can’t resist. In other words, do everything you can to make the home so attractive, charming, cozy, inviting, comfortable and exciting that a buyer will want to buy that lifestyle for himself.

 

Evaluate the home from a buyer’s point of view. An experienced real estate professional will be able to offer an objective view and will also know what buyers are asking for. Get your home in tip-top shape by making repairs and cosmetic improvements, and removing clutter. This may mean investing in a few upgrades to modernize your home’s look such as installing newer carpet and light fixtures and painting the walls a neutral shade.

 

Create Traffic

If you want buyers to see your home, you must first find the buyers. Work with your real estate professional to design a marketing plan that is flexible and capitalizes on your property’s most desirable features. Your strategy should include ways to reach buyers online and offline – such as word of mouth, the Internet, yard signs, direct mail, open houses and so on.

 

Go with a Professional

Selling a home is more than just putting a sign in your yard and having a listing on the Internet. And in a competitive market, you don’t really want to take the chance of making novice mistakes that can slow the selling of your home. By hiring a real estate professional, you get the benefit of an experienced marketer and negotiator who is familiar with real estate issues in your community. A real estate professional can offer worthy advice on pricing and staging your home based on their vast experience.

 

Plus, there’s the added value of the peer-to-peer networking among real estate professionals, which can bring buyers and sellers together – sometimes even before the property goes on the market.

 

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives can be just the impetus a potential buyer needs to select your property over others. You may want to consider offering a carpet or paint allowance. Or, pay for a professional home inspection or a home warranty – and, depending on your market and budget, offer to pay some of the closing costs.

 

Don’t be discouraged if there are competing homes for sale in your neighborhood. With just a few smart moves, you can turn a buyers’ market in your favor.

 

-Keith Reilly

A Year in Review…

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Since beginning my real estate career in May of this year, I have had the privilege of experiencing many different aspects of the business and I have to say…I love it!  I just wanted to share with you some of the things that I’ve been blessed with doing this year:

· I have attended countless training courses in subjects such as ethics, buyer/seller representation, real estate investing, commercial transactions, foreclosures and many other topics in order to get up to speed with my peers within the industry. 

· I have shown over 150 homes to clients throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Chester County and Delaware County resulting in successful sales and satisfied customers.

· I have connected out of state clients with trustworthy, local real estate professionals in South Carolina and Delaware that have resulted in closed transactions and satisfied customers.

I am hoping that with a can-do attitude and strong work ethic my business will continue to grow in 2009 in the face of a challenging market. 

I would like to personally thank those of you who have supported my transition from the US Marine Corps into real estate this year.  I continue to find this career an exciting challenge and am optimistically looking forward to serving you in 2009!

 Happy Holidays to you all and many blessings in the New Year!

Can You Afford That House?

Before you start searching for your dream home, you first need to determine a price range you can afford. According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), depending on the consumer’s current debt ratio, most people can typically afford to pay 31 percent of their gross monthly income for mortgage payments. For example, if you earn $50,000 annually, then your monthly income is about $4,167. Thirty-one percent of that is $1,292.

There are several online tools to calculate a monthly mortgage you can afford using factors such as your current monthly expenses, down payment and the interest rate. You can also work with a lender to get pre-qualified for a loan. This estimate will help you gauge how much money you may be able to borrow and the monthly mortgage payments.

However, the amount you are able to afford for a home loan should not be your only consideration for determining your price range. With homeownership come other housing expenses.

 Utilities

The most obvious of additional housing expenses are utilities—gas, electricity and water. But don’t forget about telephone, trash collection, and cable or satellite bills.

Taxes

As a property owner, you are responsible for property taxes. The rate will vary from city to city. In our community, the tax rate is (insert %) percent. That means for a home with a market value of $200,000, yearly taxes will run (insert dollar amount). To get a general idea on how much the tax bill will be for a property, ask the seller for a copy of the previous year’s tax assessment. Your real estate professional can help you refine these figures.

Association Dues

Another cost you may incur is homeowner association (HOA) dues. Most condominiums and some (residential developments/subdivisions/neighborhoods) have HOAs, which are legal entities, created to maintain common areas and enforce deed restrictions. As a property owner, you are required to pay the established monthly or annual homeowner association dues. Be sure you factor this cost into your budget.

Maintenance

You also need to consider the upkeep of your home. You should budget for seasonal maintenance such as lawn care, pest inspections and carpet cleaning, as well as unexpected repairs. The amount you budget will depend on the age of the home, as older homes tend to require more repairs such as installing a new roof, painting and replacing older appliances.

Insurance

Depending on the type of coverage and your area, the costs for homeowners insurance each year can be anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.  And, if you live in an area that has high risks for flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., you may need supplemental insurance.

Remodeling/Upgrades

Unless the home you purchase is picture perfect, you’ll more than likely be adding your personal touch. Therefore, you need add to your housing budget the costs for remodeling and upgrades. According to “Remodeling Magazine’s” 2007 Cost vs. Value Report, the national average for a midrange minor kitchen remodel is $21,185; a bathroom remodel averages $15,789.

Even minor cosmetic fix-ups such as light fixtures, window treatments, carpeting and decorative cabinet knobs can begin to add up.

By determining all the costs associated with homeownership, you can go into your home search with a reasonable price range that will allow you stay within your budget.

Thinking about buying real estate? Now is the time!

If you’re ready to buy a home and can afford it, now is a great time to buy. Mortgage interest rates remain very low. In many areas, buyers have a lot of inventory from which to choose and long-term homeownership continues to be one of the best ways for the typical American to build wealth.

Don’t let all of the negative media attention about the “mortgage meltdown” keep you from pursuing your homeownership dream. Mortgage industry woes are primarily limited to subprime loans and other types of creative and comparatively risky financing products. While the mortgage industry stalled briefly to reconsider its more exotic loans, there is plenty of conventional financing available for qualified homebuyers. Interest rates remain at historically low levels – still less than 7% for the typical, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Indeed, the market has changed. It’s gone from a frenzied seller’s market to calmer buyer’s market. In fact, buyers haven’t seen a market this strong in years. When the national median home price dropped for the first time on record, the decline made huge albeit misleading headlines. For starters, there is no such thing as a national real estate market. All real estate markets are local and driven by local factors that include the local economy, housing supply and demand factors and other attributes like geography.

The slight decline followed years of unprecedented steep home price appreciation and the reality is that only a handful of markets experienced price declines. Corrections in markets that experienced exorbitant home price appreciation were expected and signal good news for buyers. According to 2007 third-quarter National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) statistics, the vast majority of the nation’s metropolitan areas showed rising or stable home prices with most areas experiencing modest gains.

Right now there are many homes from which to choose and in most areas buyers don’t have to deal with the harried and hurried competition of multiple bids. The changing market has also changed the inventory landscape to include fewer speculative sellers and a larger share of serious and motivated sellers.

Prospective homebuyers have some time to shop inventory and thoroughly compare home types and prices, amenities, neighborhoods, commutes and other important real estate-related features. And buyers have stronger price negotiation power as sellers compete for their attention by offering concessions or other incentives.

While all real estate markets have ups and downs, Americans continue to consistently build wealth through homeownership. According to the NAR:

One average, the value of a home doubles every 10 years. During the past three decades, home values have increased an average of 6.6% per year.

The average homeowner today has 36 times the wealth of the average renter. Homeowners are essentially paying themselves when they pay their mortgages and this means they’re building equity. Homeowners also benefit from some real estate-related tax write-offs like mortgage interest.

Sixty percent of the average homeowner’s wealth is their home’s equity. For homeowners who’re in their homes for the long-term, home equity typically is their single largest source of wealth.

Because every market is different, it’s a good idea for potential homebuyers to contact a local real estate specialist to learn more about what’s happening in his or her community and real estate market. The bottom line in real estate doesn’t change – if you’re ready to buy and can afford to make a long-term homeownership commitment, it’s always a good time to buy!

Philadelphia-area home market still outperforms nation

Finally, some good news on the real estate market in Bucks County!  On November 13th, 2008 the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an article outlining how the Philadelphia area market was outperforming the rest of the nation.  Here are some notable quotes from the article:

“Just 4.4% of area homes sold in the last five years had negative equity.  Nationally it was 14.3%”

“The area has a healthy five year annualized appreciation of 6 percent, compared with 3.4 percent nationally”

“It seems Philadelphia may escape the worst of the housing market woes affecting much of the rest of the country”

14.3 percent of national homes with negative equity and Philadelphia area only had 4.4%.  That is great news!  Well of course we would rather see NO negative equity but with all things being considered, I think we should feel pretty good about our current market.  Posted below is the news article.

Phila-area home market still outperforms nation

Bucks County real estate market update

**The average sold price in Bucks County for October 08 was $321,352**

For a comparison, here are the stats for October in previous years for Bucks County:

The average sold price for October 07 was $325,029

The average sold price for October 06 was $331,924

The average sold price for October 05 was $326,519

Market Statistics Criteria Used:

Price Range: 0 to 999,000

Property Category: Residential

Area: All Bucks County

Source:  http://www.TrendMLS.com

How much lower will it go?

That’s the question everyone in Bucks County is asking and I certainly wish I knew that answer. Many people are holding their breath and waiting to see how this election will affect the market. The only immediate reaction that I foresee stemming from this election will be a boost in consumer confidence. A fresh face with exciting new ideas will help some consumers to get off the fence and finally buy or sell that home they have patiently been waiting on. John McCain and Barack Obama both have good ideas for jump starting the economy but remember, no matter who gets elected, the various policies each presidential candidate would like to enact still have to be ratified by the rest of the government and are nothing but good ideas until that happens.