Should You Sell Your House Now? 7 Factors to Consider

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Your home is one of the most important assets you’ll ever own. For this reason, you want to be sure you’ll earn money from its sale – or at least break even – before putting your house on the market.

That being said, finances aren’t the only thing to think about. Life circumstances, community and emotional attachment to a home will also play a role in your decision to sell.

Financial Considerations

Home Equity

The biggest factor affecting the financial outcome of your home sale is your equity in it. Equity is the market value of your home minus what you still owe in mortgage payments.

For example, if your home’s market value is $300,000 and your mortgage balance is $175,000, you have $125,000 of equity in your home. The idea is that, after the sale, you can use this $125,000 to:

  • Put a down payment on your next house

  • Buy a smaller house outright

  • Add money to your nest egg

  • Reinvest the money

  • Pocket the extra cash

Do not sell your home if you have negative equity unless it’s unavoidable. You’ll be left worse off and further in debt. Instead, continue making home loan payments until you build up enough equity to sell.

Listing, Closing and Moving Costs

Even if you have equity in your home, you still may not be ready to sell. Selling your house and buying a new one is a pricey endeavor. There are many associated costs and fees that can quickly eat into what little equity you have, ultimately making a move counterproductive from a monetary standpoint.

Here are just a few of the costs you may incur:

  • Appraisal fees

  • House cleaning

  • Renovations

  • Home staging

  • Landscaping

  • Storage

  • Utility bills while showing your home

  • Closing costs

  • Listing fees/realtor commission

  • Packing and moving services

Demand

It’s better to sell when buyer demand is high because you have a stronger negotiating position. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to determine whether the market in your area is currently in the seller’s favor:

  • It’s best for sellers when the number of homebuyers exceeds the amount of homes for sale

  • The warm weather of spring – especially May – entices buyers to move

  • Lower mortgage rates motivate more homes shoppers to enter the market, as buyers have a lower barrier of entry, and you have a better chance of getting a good rate on a new mortgage if you are purchasing another home

Other Considerations

Space

Many people decide to sell to either make more room or downsize. Here are a few reasons you may want a different size home:

Downsize

  • Children have moved out

  • Reduced energy costs

  • Less home maintenance

  • Smaller or no mortgage payments

Upgrade

  • Additional family members or pets

  • Desire to host guests or entertain

  • Fun rooms (den, gym, home theater, etc.)

 

Location

A home seller may decide to list their home without equity if they dislike their current location or if the local property taxes and cost of living are too high for them to maintain financial stability. In these cases, cutting your losses now may save you money and heartache in the long run.

Emotional Attachment

You may be reluctant to leave a home that you have a strong personal connection to. For example, you may have inherited your childhood home or raised your family in your current house. Perhaps you’ve made modifications to your home to perfectly fit your lifestyle, and the emotional toll of moving would outweigh the financial gains.

Urgency

Sometimes selling your home isn’t much of a choice. You may need to relocate for a new job or military service. Other times, sellers are constrained by debt and need to foreclose.

Looking for a Realtor in Charlotte, NC?

If you’re ready to sell your home, you should team up with a realtor who understands the local housing market and can fetch the best sales price. Charlotte area homeowners can trust Qulia Bryant of Perfect House Realty to get the job done. She will work with you one-on-one to explain home selling strategies and create a comprehensive plan to market your home to quality buyers in the area.

Interested homeowners can use our online home valuation tool and mortgage calculator or call 833-704-HOME to start the selling process.

Sources

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/ready-to-sell-your-home
https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/homeseller-checklist-expenses-when-selling-36253.html
https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/best-time-to-sell

 

A Guide to Commonly Used Real Estate Terms

As with many industries, real estate has its own language, which can make it difficult for the average person to navigate the home buying or selling process. Here is a guide to commonly used terms to help you be better prepared to buy or sell a home.

Mortgage Types

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

An adjustable-rate mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that changes periodically. This means monthly payments can fluctuate. Initial interest rates are generally lower with an ARM than a fixed-rate mortgage.

The most common type is the 5/1 ARM. Its introductory rate lasts five years and after this period, the interest rate can change annually. Whether the rate increases or decreases depends on:

  • Indexes – ARMs are tied to an index of interest rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

  • Margins – The margin is established at the time of loan approval and remains fixed for the life of the loan. For example, a margin can be set at five percent, so the interest rate can be as much as five percent higher than the index.

  • Caps – ARMs typically have a lifetime cap that establishes a maximum interest rate and a periodic cap that limits how much the interest rate can fluctuate in any adjustment period.

Some lenders offer 3/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan. Your monthly principal and interest payments will not change, but interest rates tend to be higher than with ARMs. This is the most popular form of financing because it offers budget stability and there’s no risk of the interest rate increasing.

Fixed-rate mortgages usually come in two term lengths:

  • 15-year – You will pay less total interest with this shorter loan term and interest rates tend to be lower, but monthly payments are higher. This option is ideal for home buyers who have adequate cash flow and want to pay off the loan sooner.

  • 30-year – Monthly payments are lower than with a shorter-term mortgage, but you pay more total interest and rates are higher. Borrowers who are saving up for other investments may prefer this term length.

Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages are not guaranteed or insured by the federal government. These home loans typically require down payments of at least three percent. Borrowers who put down 20 percent or more do not have to pay mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs).

This type of financing is usually reserved for borrowers with good credit. Requirements vary by lender, but 620 is the minimum score needed to obtain a conventional loan, and 740 is the threshold for a low interest rate.

FHA Loans

FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They are popular with first-time home buyers who have little savings or damaged credit as they only require a 3.5 percent minimum down payment for borrowers with a credit score above 580.

VA Loans

VA loans are guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and available through private lenders. They aim to help servicemembers, veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners.

Home Buying Process

Appraisal

An appraisal determines a property’s market value. This information must be obtained by a licensed appraiser. Your lender will use this report to decide whether to let you take out a loan.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are paid when the title is transferred from the seller to the buyer. These costs cover all the fees incurred during the buying and selling process, such as the home inspection and appraisal. You can expect to pay about two to five percent of the purchase price in closing costs.

Contingency

The buyer must complete specific requirements to move forward with the sale. Common contingencies include waiting for an inspection and the buyer needing to sell their current home.

Disclosures

A disclosure means a seller must inform potential buyers of problems that may affect the home’s value, such as renovations, pest issues and appliance malfunctions. They are required by law.

Due Diligence

It is important to fully understand the home you are interested in before buying it. This includes obtaining insurance, reviewing documents carefully and touring the property.

Escrow

Escrow is a neutral third party that handles transactions throughout the buying and selling process. They hold all documents and funds until the day of the sale.

Earnest money is typically held in an escrow account and represents your commitment to buying a house you have made an offer on. It is usually one to three percent of the asking price.

Inspection Report

An inspection report is required in every home purchase. The report details a property’s condition, from the foundation to the roof. During an inspection, the appliances, plumbing, electrical work and HVAC systems are tested. This helps home buyers determine whether they want to make the investment.

Title Insurance

Title insurance protects home buyers and lenders from problems with a title when property ownership is transferred. If a title dispute arises during a sale, the insurance company may be responsible for paying legal damages.

Buyers typically need two title insurance policies – owner’s and lender’s.

You can research the history of a home by performing a title search, which will reveal any issues with the title.

Find Your Dream Home With Perfect House Realty

Home buying and selling is a complicated process that requires the expertise of a qualified professional to navigate. The team at Perfect House Realty is committed to helping buyers and sellers in the Charlotte, North Carolina area understand their options.

Call us at 833-704-HOME or find your dream home online.

 

The Fight for the Neighborhood

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In 2008, the US economy went under in what is now known as the Great Recession. Stocks were down, unemployment rate was up and foreclosures were at a peak. This market crash was a stepping stone for a small percentage of the population, the real estate investors.

While leveraging lower property values and foreclosure auctions, many hedge funds, developers, investment firms and private companies used this opportunity to gain a place in the real estate market and rebuild the economy.

Today, there are communities in every urban metro in the US that is experiencing gentrification due to the influx of these investors in recent years. Gentrification is the newest socioeconomic disparity in America.

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Neighborhoods that were once affordable to blue-collar working class families, are now attracting wealthy middle class homeowners.

Neighborhoods that were once notorious for violent crimes, are now chartered as historic and renamed to appeal the young hip residents.

Neighborhoods that were once overlooked in city’s budget plans, are now provided a weekly farmers market.

These new communities have pushed out some of the old residents with the increase in tax values, increase in rent, and neighborhood land development. Other residents have fought to keep their property in hopes of retaining some of the neighborhoods culture. However, what most people do not realize is that some neighbors they are fighting against were in fact the original residents of these communities.

Prior to the Great Depression, in the 1930’s the federal housing agency played a role in redlining inner city neighborhoods which resulted in mass number of whites moving to suburban areas in order to qualify for home loans. According to data from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition the affluent white middle class moved out of the inner city and the minority population were denied home loans and pushed into these urban metro areas.

Eventually in the 1960s and 1970s factories moved out of the inner cities and closer to areas where white communities were. This caused spikes in unemployment rates for blacks who were not able to get to work in the suburbs. In turn, the inner city communities took a huge decline. The public housing communities that were built to house poor minorities were not being reinvested into. The buildings were falling apart, drugs were infiltrated, and crime was unstoppable.

In the 1990s, President Clinton signed two bills into law that would be the beginning of reforming inner cities back to what they were originally, neighborhoods for affluent middle class. These bills were “One Strike” where a resident of public housing was evicted for any accusation of crime and “Hope VI” where 166 cities were granted funding to demolish public housing and rebuild mixed-income housing.

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The neighborhoods where public housing once stood, now serve only 42 percent of the mixed income housing and has created a severe affordable housing lack.

The neighborhoods were public housing once stood, are now sites for city attractions and half a million dollar and upwards real estate.

The neighborhoods where public housing once stood, are now gentrified neighborhoods with new occupants who are still trying to find their solace in it all.

So whose neighborhood is it anyway? The white middle class lived in most of these urban areas prior to the 1930’s. The minorities and blacks have made these neighborhoods home and created culture in these areas since the 1950’s. The investors are simply looking to capitalize on opportunities that will help the economy. The standard of neighborhoods are usually held together by all of the neighbors. These new neighborhoods should be no different. Create community organizations with leaders from all represented classes, work together to make the community cohesive, and fight back against the government for tax and rent controls instead of fighting against each other.

In the words, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Non-cooperation with evil is as much as moral obligation as cooperation with good.”