Broker, REALTOR, INDIANA (10 years experience)

Specialties:
Buyer's Agent,
Listing Agent,
Relocation,
Foreclosure

Advice

  • (21 Contributions,
  • 0 Best Answers,
  • 3 Helpful)

Contributions are sorted newest to oldest.

What is the difference between an FHA loan and a 203k?

Answer

Just to take it a bit further, the FHA 203K loan can be used for renovations and additions to a home. So if you find a home in disrepair, or that needs a new roof, appliances, flooring or more, the FHA 203K renovation loan may be a good option. We've seen some buyers in Indiana end up with decent residual equity after making renovations to a foreclosed home that just needed some work. There are limitations, so check with an experienced lender.

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Your Thoughts on the 4 Key Physical Elements to Selling Any Property

Response

As REALTOR licensed in both Indiana and Colorado, my opinion on the top 4 most important features in selling a home include:1. Location!  In a challenging market, great location sells first.2. Curb appeal.  In any market, the house has to look good from the outside to get buyers interested.3. Price. Especially in a challenging market in a slower season, price is an over-riding factor in not only whether you'll get showings but whether it will sell. Watch the comps and your dollar per square foot!4. Interior (Layout & Level of Finish). Ok, so I kind of have a top five really. However, it's important that not only the floorplan function for the potential buyer, but few buyers want to renovate and instead prefer to buy a very well done home that flows well. The amount of square footage is not as important as functional room design, flow, storage space, lighting, kitchen layout, and more.

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You want to know your house's worth according to a zestimate?

Response

Home valuation is always a good discussion topic.  It is always best to use a licensed appraiser or a REALTOR CMA to get a market value for your property.  Online estimators rely on imperfect information for their data, including county records that do have incorrect or outdated data sometimes.  Comparative sales are a start, but within the comparables the human element is needed to make the fine adjustments for level of finish in the homes, locational variations (waterfront, wooded, professional landscaping, etc), curb appeal, staging, and more.  And, the MLS sold and active listing data is more tested as a REALTOR has visited the property and recorded the data such as bedrooms, bathrooms, finished basement, room size, and more in person.  So use an appraiser or REALTOR to help establish the righ price your home from the start.

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Houses around me are being taken off the market for this time of year. Is that a bad move?

Answer

Over the winter months in the colder climates, many people do remove their homes from the market.  Sure, demand is lower in the winter, however supply is also lower.  If the listing is priced right, with good location and good features, it stands a chance to sell 365 days a year. In both markets that I serve, Northwest Indiana and Northern Colorado, I've sold several homes, land acreages, and investment properties in the month of December. We are even hoping for a multiple property offer this week on some of our multifamily homes. And, many single family homes are quite beautiful with holiday decor. Many investors are looking to park some money into real estate by the end of the year. So from experience, it's a great time to have your property listed because it should get prime exposure thanks to low comparable supply and some motivated buyers.

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My wife and I may be in a new location for 3 years, maybe more (depends on residency). Rent or buy?

Answer

Rent vs. Buy for the short term is always a tough question. Usually, it takes a few years to recoup your cost of purchase and re-sale.  The Florida market has certainly seen a large decrease in home values, so you might be able to capitalize on that by buying a foreclosure, short sale, or distressed property.  If you feel you can buy a property, improve its value, or realize some market appreciation, then it may be a good time to invest.  Or, if you are able to get a great loan, and would intend to otherwise keep the home as a second home or investment property, you may also wish to buy the property as a good deal now.  Forecasting appreciation is a risky situation, so be careful to do your own analysis and forecast of the market. If you buy, be sure to buy a great location as location is always a hard amenity to replace, and great location tends to keep its value and prosper when house markets rebound.  Be sure to consult with a local real estate professional in your market, as my focus is Northwest Indiana and Northern Colorado.  There is a great book called The Millionaire Real Estate Investor that you may wish to read.  Best wishes!  .

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Cabinet refacing

Answer

The kitchen is one of the best places to add value, and can help create a great return.  Granite alone can gives the buyer the sense of sophistication, modern construction, and upgraded appearance that many buyers want.  Cabinet refacing is becoming more popular, as many people are opting to paint, antique, or replace doors on their cabinets to "recycle" their cabinets to a new life.  The caution here is if the drawer pulls, designs, or layouts are unfriendly, an entire new cabinet may be in order.  Best regards,Matt Evans, REALTOR and Homebuilder in Porter County Indiana 

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What energy efficient improvement should you do first to your house?

Response

One of the most beneficial solutions for retrofitting a home for more energy efficiency is to improve attic insulation. Heat rises, and escapes thru poorly insulated ceilings. Do-it-yourselfers can rent an insulation blower for free from most home improvement stores with the purchase of the cellulose insulation. Use caution not to blow the insulation over the walls into the vented spaces near the eaves of the home. Also, many homes can benefit from better attic ventilation, where summertime heat can act to raise radiant ceiling temperatures in many homes.Best regards,Matt Evans, REALTOR Valparaiso, Indiana

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August Sales Data for Valparaiso and Porter County, Indiana

Month's supply of inventory in single family housing went up nearly across the board versus July figures as fall approached the region in Northwest Indiana.  Only the $300K-$400K and $750K-$1M categories saw a slight decrease in inventories in Valparaiso, while Porter County's numbers only improved in the $750-$1M range.   In Porter County, home sales in August one month solds dropped from 99 to 94, while home sales in Valparaiso actually increased from 51 to 56 single family units.  The difference in Valpo was that single family home supply vs. July figures went up from 615 homes to 709 homes.  Total inventory also climbed in Porter County. With interest rates at historic lows, buyers are still exercising some caution while looking for great deals when purchasing a home.  Market sentiment is that some sellers may now be putting their homes on the market after waiting an extended period for the market to "recover".  September 2010 home sales and inventory numbers in the GNIAR MLS region will be available soon.  Month's supply of inventory is a measure many real estate professionals and industry analysts use as a measure of real estate market health.  A balanced market is considered to be around a 6-month supply of inventory.Matt Evans, REALTOR, Broker Associate,Keller Williams Realty, Valparaiso in Northwest Indiana

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how can I find out what my home is worth?

Answer

Meet with a REALTOR, and have them do a CMA on your home.  A comparative market analysis can help provide you with an idea of what your home may sell for on the market, in comparison with other like properties.  Other information may also play in, such as assessed value on the county records, and market trends in the area or neighborhood.  Locational and condition factors, as well as month's supply of inventory also influences the pricing of your home.  You also want to consider hitting price breaks at the right point, for instance it may be more beneficial to be at $200,000 instead of $203,000 so you open up to more buyers in the price bracket up to $200,000.  Best regards,Matt Evans, REALTOR, Keller Williams REALTY, Valparaiso, IN

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