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Being a REALTOR

Being a REALTOR® can be difficult. In today’s declining real estate market, the prices of real estate are going up and sales and prospective buyers are going down. There are just not enough people who are able to qualify for the mortgages offered these days to fill all the real estate available. If you are still intent on being a REALTOR®, then you must realize that it is a people business as well as a numbers game. Being a skilled REALTOR® is all about your network and noticing key elements about the real estate in general in order to convey these elements to prospective buyers. A REALTOR® must be keen on finding what benefits the property has according to a prospective buyer’s lifestyle and personality. A REALTOR® must be able to read people as well as read real estate and determine answers based on these assumptions. At the end of the day, being a REALTOR® is just like being a business person. Any good REALTOR® must work very hard to make a substantial income and this includes long hours and tedious searches for prospective buyers as well as valuable real estate that is on the market. A REALTOR® also must watch the real estate marketplace as a whole, noticing trends and statistics and studying them very carefully. At any moment, the real estate market could go up and then at any moment, it could also go down. A good REALTOR® watches out for these trends and is able to gauge where the market is at any given time. Being a REALTOR® is similar to having your own business in that you must always be looking for the next great opportunity that is around the corner. Don’t ever think that being a REALTOR® is easy, but for many, it is very rewarding. All of our real estate agents here at Green Tree Realty are also REALTORS® and that means that we all adhere to NAR’s code of ethics and standards of practice. So, if you are looking to buy or sell a home, please consider hiring one of our qualified REALTORS® today! READ MORE

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There Can Be a Cost By Waiting to Purchase

In many instances, prospective buyers believe that the longer they wait to purchase a home or property, the better off they are, but the opposite is actually usually true. The reason for this is because instead of home prices and interest rates going down, in these tough economic times, they end up usually going up. Home prices rose in 41 states and D.C. in the 1st quarter of 2013. Many prospective home buyers are finding themselves in quit a predicament simply because they chose to wait on their purchase. It seems like more often than not, interest rates are going higher and higher and this is very bad for prospective home buyers because they end up spending much more money in the long run. Obviously, when a home price goes up, the prospective buyer will have to pay more for the home initially, but if the interest rate goes up, which it often does, the prospective home buyer will need to pay the higher interest rate and then some. The interest rate can impact the prospective home buyer for years to come since the actual rate of the home increases just because the interest rate increases. For instance, if the term is 30 years and the total monthly payment is $1,500, then just a small increase can raise the home price significantly. If the home price is at a certain point, then if the interest rate increases, they will not be able to purchase the same home since the price of the home will have raised and they would not be accepted into that category. So, as you can see, waiting on a home purchase can not only cause the prospective home buyer to pay out more money initially, but it can impact their opportunity of getting their dream home overall. The best bet for any prospective home buyer is to purchase as soon as possible before the price of the home, or worse, before the interest rate increases. READ MORE

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Types of Mortgages

In regards to home ownership, there are two main different mortgages that are available. The first type is the fixed mortgage and the second type is the adjustable rate mortgage. A fixed mortgage is defined as a mortgage rate that stays the same for the duration of the mortgage length. That means, if you have a fixed mortgage, your monthly payments will not go up or down, they will stay static at one rate. A fixed mortgage is usually preferable to an adjustable rate loan because there is no chance of the rate going any higher, but there are some benefits to an adjustable mortgage rate as well. An adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM for short means that interest rates will change over time. The good thing about an adjustable rate mortgage is that the rate could go down, but it could conversely also go up. The deciding factor on if the rate in an adjustable mortgage goes up or down is dependent on the market at that time, so there is really no predicting or knowing if the market will stay steady, go higher or go lower, some might say they know, but the reality is that it is usually a luck of the draw. Overall, it has been shown that adjustable rate mortgages usually end up raising causing the home owner to pay more than they would have with a fixed mortgage rate. Another types of adjustable rate mortgage is the hybrid adjustable rate mortgage. This hybrid mortgage type is different than the usual adjustable rate mortgage because the home owner pays a fixed amount for a certain number of years and then starts to pay an adjustable amount for the remaining amount of years left on their mortgage. A hybrid adjustable rate mortgage is gaining popularity with many different individuals because unlike a fixed mortgage rate, a hybrid adjustable rate mortgage starts off at a lower rate saving people money in the beginning stages of their mortgage period. READ MORE

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Understanding the Earnest Money Deposit

What it is and why it’s good to include it as part of your real estate transaction.

Earnest money is specifically used to show that a buyer is serious about purchasing a property in regards to real estate transactions. Earnest money is paid by the buyer to the seller and shows a level of commitment and integrity towards the purchase and it is used as a down payment if and when the buyer goes through with the offer. If the buyer does not go through with the offer, then the earnest money is left to the owner and not returned to the buyer. Earnest money is vital to how real estate actions are perceived by buyers as well as sellers because they demand a certain level of seriousness in regards to purchasing the property to the seller. Many buyers can be interested in a property, but unless earnest money is exchanged by the buyer to the seller, a serious transaction cannot take place. Earnest money wins the appreciation from the seller to the buyer and instills that the property is practically in the buyers hands and earnest money gives the buyer first priority on a property sale. The reality is still that unless the property has been fully sold, it is still the property of the owner, but earnest money can give a buyer the reality that the property is close to being theirs. Earnest money is a great tool used in real estate transactions and can convince a seller to go with one buyer over another. If a buyer utilizes the earnest money tool, then they are giving top priority for the property, even if all the paperwork has yet to be signed. Earnest money is similar to a promise from the buyer that they will be purchasing the property. It is a good idea for sellers to instill earnest money into their real estate transactions because then they have much less of a threat of getting short-changed by a buyer who says one thing and then does the opposite. Earnest money gives a verbal promise a level of backing that works to benefit the entire real estate transaction. READ MORE

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Current Mortgage Rates

These days, within the real estate market, mortgage rates are at around a 3% rate. The percentage of mortgage rate depends on a few key factors that firstly include the lending company that is providing the lending. In terms of Optimum First Mortgage, as stated on Zillow, the mortgage rate they are offering is at 3.277%, which falls at just about average or a little below average for what the usual mortgage rate is today. In terms of the Optimum First Mortgage percentage point, it is based on a 30 year fixed rate. The lending is based on a $240,000 lending amount, which means that per month, this percentage rate will yield a cost of $1,044 per month. It is also based on down payment of $60,000 and no pre-payment penalty. Conversely, a 15 year fixed rate can have a lower percentage rate with another lending company. For example, Aurora Financial, which is a direct lender, has a 2.750% rate that yields to $1,629 a month. READ MORE

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House Styles in the Portland Area

It is very important as a property owner or manager to get an idea of housing styles in your area. The reason for this is because of the fact that in order to sufficiently price the property accordingly or price the rental amount, you must utilize the other housing styles to get an idea of how much you can fairly charge tenants. The housing styles in the area can vary from different styles and this can change the price dramatically. If the housing styles in the area are priced above market value, then you can fairly price your specific property or properties above market value as well, and can gainfully get the price that you request. The housing styles in the area also make a difference to individuals who are looking at the property that you have for rent or that you are selling. People that are interested in a home are not only interested in the home that they will be living in, but they are also interested in the area around them as a whole. As the saying goes, people don’t just buy the house, they buy the whole neighborhood. It is important to have an idea of the area that the home you are offering is in. You must know the housing styles in order to convey to potential buyers or potential renters the type of area that they will be living in. People will get a greater sense of the area if you give them the insight into the housing styles that surround them. And, this will help you to easier sell the property or rent the property. And, you also want to ensure that the housing styles coordinate with the specific buyer is looking for. The housing styles can range from vintage to modern and if a potential buyer is interested in a certain type of home, it is best to point them in the right direction. The housing style will also be helpful in giving information to the potential buyers or renters about the type of furniture that they will need to get making the purchase a much more comprehensive and exciting one for the buyer or renter. READ MORE

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Renting a House vs. Buying a Home

There are many diverse opinions on the idea of renting a home versus buying a home. All in all, it boils down to preference and the needs of the individual and their family. The reality is that buying a home has always been the “American Dream” for many individuals. Owning sustains a sense of stability and success. Buying a home is an exciting time, for instance, for new couples as they can go into a new endeavor together and start a family or continue their family. Buying a home is also becoming a big part of success for a single individual, as buying a home usually comes after a great job has been had or money has been saved. Renting a home on the other hand is temporary for most individuals. The idea of renting a home does not necessarily feel like a permanent situation, since the majority of individuals eventually want to own their own home one day in the future. READ MORE