HOME BUYERS: SEVEN INSIGHTS INTO CONFIDENT DECISION MAKING

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show Pilot

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on  iHeartRadio

Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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Home-buying is multi-tasking on steroids. Are you up for the challenge?

On the surface, buying a home seems simple: find your dream home and buy it.

In reality, this seemingly-simple task requires buyers to make a continuous stream of under-pressure decisions, often concerning issues and consequences they do not fully understand. Instead of one task, buyers are faced with hundreds of tasks many of which must be decided on simultaneously, on very short deadlines. This makes decision-making a challenge, but it’s the knowledge gaps and “I’ve never thought about this before” perspectives revealed in smart home buying that add the real pressure.

 

At its best, purchasing real estate is an exhilarating race through a labyrinth of snap decisions ending with the purchase of real estate. At its worst, home buying can become a multi-tasking nightmare culminating in the purchase of the wrong property, in spending too much, or in no purchase at all.

 

To swing the outcome in your favor, one key task is choosing the “best fit” real estate professional to guide you through the home-buying process. This real estate expert will keep you fully informed, so that even snap decisions are solid choices you will thrive on.

 

Face the complexity of successful home buying head on and it will not overwhelm you.

 

Purchasing real estate involves making a series of decisions which combine to address the essentials of successful real estate ownership. The “I’ve never thought about that before” perspectives that challenge decision making, especially for first-time buyers, can be categorized by the specialized knowledge required.

 

Here are Seven Insights into Successful Multi-Tasking:

#1. Investment: What is the value-appreciation potential of the property?

Does it seem strange to think about resale value when you haven’t even purchased yet? This perspective is important since it reveals current value deficits. In addition, after paying off the mortgage (and many thousands in interest), and maintaining and improving the property over the years ahead, you’ll want to recover these costs and make a profit to finance the next phase of your life. Even a “forever home” should be purchased with investment in mind since the future is full of surprises. Location is key to resale value. The best strategy is to buy the least property in the best neighborhood you can afford.

 

#2. Lifestyle: Which lifestyle values should the chosen property reinforce?

Are you determined to spend your time, money, and effort on accumulating “stuff” and teaching your children to do the same? If so, square-footage, lots of storage, and a bedroom each may be essential. If your values go beyond materialism, the size of the building may not be as important as highly-functional interior design, the surrounding community, and local amenities and green spaces. Shop neighborhoods before you start looking at individual homes.

 

#3. Benefits: How do you expect ownership to benefit you and your family?

I’ve addressed investment and its links to your financial future in #1. How else do you expect the home and neighborhood to benefit your family? For instance, locating near select schools has taken priority over locating adjacent to work for many buyers, but make sure the school in question is not so over-populated that its standards are slipping. Compare the cost of alternatives schools to the premium that real estate in “star school” neighborhoods demands. If a private school or home schooling is intended, “star” amenities may take priority over neighborhood schools.

 

#4. Time Management: How should your real estate support income earning?

Jobs tend to be more plentiful in urban areas. Real estate prices are usually lower and appreciation slower further away from urban centers. The expense of commuting to work goes up the further away you live. Do the math to determine what you’ll net in salary after deducting the cost of commuting. Add a calculation of how many extra hours the distance will take from your family, interests, health, and fun. Only you can determine what this time is worth when you evaluate the value of buying a larger home further from city center.

 

#5. Property Management: How much time and money will maintaining and regularly modernizing your property require?

Gardening can be a great joy, but mowing a large lawn can be a great responsibility—and an expense if you pay someone else to mow. The larger the house, the higher the taxes, the bigger the roof, the more plumbing and wiring involved, more windows to decorate, more furniture to buy, and more space to heat and cool…. The costs attached to maintenance are annual, increasing expenses and should be considered when setting the budget for a purchase.

 

#6. Borrowing: How much will the cost of borrowing add to the overall cost of home ownership?

Mortgage interest and related costs are not the cost of real estate since not everyone needs a mortgage. These expenses relate to borrowing, but they can be large enough to make you house rich and cash poor. Financially stretching for a dream home, may be your choice knowing your earning power is on the rise.

 

#7. Backup: How will I find reliable, accurate, unbiased answers to my questions during the buying process?

GoogleTM should not be your “go-to” resource during home buying because it holds no liability if you get the wrong information or if you don’t know what you don’t know and should know about a topic. Settle on a real estate professional with the knowledge and experience relevant to the locations and type of real estate you are interested in. When you ask this local expert a question, they will know the complete answer or know how to get it. Real estate professionals understand that they carry fiduciary responsibilities to provide the right information at the right time, so their client (that’s you) can consistently make confident decisions to achieve your stated goals.

 

The more you understand the home-buying process before you start, the better prepared you’ll be for a multi-tasking decision-making marathon. The many small decisions about style of home, mortgage term, closing date, garbage and mail services, side of the street, distance to medical services and the firehall etc… will be manageable. You’ll be ready to confidently make significant decisions about which property, how much to spend, and which responsibilities to commit to in the offer to purchase.

 

Want more information? I’m a phone call away!

 

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

 

 

 

 

 

Contributor: PJ Wade

USING “GIFT FUNDS” FOR DOWN PAYMENTS

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on  iHeartRadio

Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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In order to get into the housing market, many home-buyers are accepting “gift funds” from family or friends in order to meet down payment requirements by lenders. In fact, as of 2012, one in five Baby Boomers has either gifted, loaned or co-signed a loan to help children or grandchildren buy their first home.

 

But along with other borrowing restrictions following the housing bust in 2008, lenders cracked down on down payment gifts, too. No longer can a home-buyer “pass the hat” to relatives and friends in order to come up with enough cash to put down on a home, whether it’s a 3.5% for an FHA government-guaranteed loan or 20% required for a large conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac-bound loan.

 

Because gifts are a gray area, lenders are requiring more documentation for down payment monies. For example, a parent may provide a few thousand dollars to an adult child to use as a down-payment — but is the money a gift or a loan?

Lenders may require borrowers and gift-givers to provide a certified down-payment gift letter or to sign a affidavit.

Such affidavits must include:

The amount of the gift, accompanied by a corresponding cashier’s check

The name and address of the gift-giver and relationship the gift-giver has to the home-buyer

The purpose of the gift — to be used only as a down payment on the subject property, complete with the property’s address

A statement confirming that the gift is not a loan, and does not need to be repaid

Signatures of the borrower and the gift-giver

 

 

Because lenders require a paper trail, allowing parents to simply transfer money into the borrower’s account to mix with the borrower’s funds is discouraged. First, a large deposit raises the borrower’s income and alters the bank statements, possibly allowing a borrower to qualify for a home that in reality is too expensive.

 

Banks also limit the size of gifts in relationship to the total down payment. For example, some loan programs require the borrower to contribute at least 3% to 5% of the down payment if the down payment is less than 20%, while other programs allow the entire down payment to be supplied by a gift.

 

If you’re planning to use a gift as part or all of your down payment, ask your lender how to meet the appropriate requirements.

 

Having a gifted down-payment for your home purchase can be done, it just needs to be done the right way.

 

Want more information? I’m a phone call away!

 

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

 

 

 

 

Contributor: Blanche Evans

8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING A ‘NEW’ HOME

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on  iHeartRadio

Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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Buying a new home can be a truly exciting experience. Choosing your lot and floorplan, picking out all your fixtures, watching the progress from foundation to framing to finishes. Makes me want to run out and tour a model home right now!

Through all the excitement, though, there are a few realities that may be surprising for those buying new for the first time.

 

1. You probably won’t be able to negotiate the price

New homes are not like resale, where there is the expectation of price negotiations back and forth. The price set by the builder is most likely the price you’re going to pay. The exceptions are when there are just a few homes left and when there is standing inventory that needs to be sold.

Look for builder inventory homes that have been on the market for 45 days or more, these are the homes in which a buyer might be able to get a good deal.

 

2. But you may be able get some upgrades at no cost

More typical in a new-home community is getting some upgrades thrown in—things like window coverings or nicer flooring. Negotiating a few must-haves into your deal can help offset your costs. Some builders may also help with closing costs as an incentive to buy.

 

3. There might also be incentives to using the builder’s in-house lender

Many builders have an in-house or preferred lender they work with to provide financing for buyers. There may be advantages to using this lender—better terms or a rate that’s bought down. By law, the builder can’t make you use their lender, so if you feel pressured, be sure to discuss with your real estate agent.

 

4. Use a REALTOR®

Speaking of Realtors…you can use your agent to buy a new home, and, in fact, you should.

In general, builders’ model homes are staffed by agents who work directly for and represent the builder. A buyer also needs to have a real estate agent who represents them and looks after their best interests. Keep in mind that most builders will require that the real estate agent accompany and register the buyer on their first visit to the builder’s model home or community.

 

5. Your home will not look like the model

When you tour a model home, it’s decked out with pretty walls and floors and lighting and countertops. The furniture is to scale and the fabrics are custom and the pictures are hung perfectly. It’s pretty seductive. But the empty shell you buy won’t look like this if you go with all the standard configurations and finishes. Be realistic about what you want, what you need, what you can afford, and how that translates to what you are seeing. The salesperson can point out which of the items you love in the model come standard and which are pricey upgrades.

 

6. The price of the home as advertised is not what you’ll pay

Typically, it will take many tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades and options to get the home you buy to look like the model. This can be a rude awakening for buyers who are trying to stick to a strict budget. The good news is rolling some of those upgrades into the mortgage can make good financial sense.

 

Upgrading during the initial construction phase is generally cheaper than updating your home later on. For example, if you choose to upgrade from laminate flooring to hardwood, you’ll pay the difference in material costs—but you won’t necessarily have to pay extra for the installation itself, since your builder needs to install floors in the first place. The same goes for things like windows and bathroom features.

 

7. You’ll be dealing with construction noise and traffic. For a while.

The peaceful life you envision can be a reality, but probably not from the get-go. Depending on the community, it may take time to complete construction. Which means dealing with congestion and hassle for the time being. Amenities like pools, sport courts, and trails may also not be built out by the time you move in. Asking ahead of time about the construction schedule can help you manage expectations.

 

8. Not everything will work perfectly

In any house, there are bound to be issues. New homes are no different. Builder warranties will help.

Warranties for newly built homes generally offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to various components of the home, such as windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and electrical systems for specific periods. Warranties also typically define how repairs will be made. The duration of coverage varies depending on the component of the house. Most warranties on new construction cover siding and stucco, doors and trim, and drywall and paint during the first year. Coverage for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems is generally two years. Some builders provide coverage for up to 10 years for “major structural defects.”

 

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

 

 

 

contributor: Jaymi Naciri

DON’T MISS THESE HOMEOWNER TAX BENEFITS

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on  iHeartRadio

Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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One of the most useful yet widely misunderstood benefits of homeownership is tax deductions. Tax deductions are a welcome gift from the government, but if you’re renting, they benefit your landlord, not you.

 

Property tax deduction: Any money you paid during the year you purchase and in the years afterward to local state, county and city property tax assessors is tax deductible.

 

Mortgage interest deduction: Your mortgage interest on both first and second liens is tax deductible. Any points you paid to obtain a lower interest rate are deductible. Private mortgage insurance payments are also deductible.

 

Closing costs: Some fees to the mortgage lender are deductible. Ask your tax professional for guidance. You can deduct some moving expenses, such as items for home offices. Save your Hud-1 form (Closing Statement) and show it to your tax professional.

 

Home office deductions: If your home is your principle place of business, and you meet other IRS guidelines for home businesses, you can take a deduction on work-space dedicated to your business and no other purpose. You can also depreciate that portion of your home over 39 years. All improvements to the work-space are tax deductible. In addition, your security expenses, phones, internet costs, computers, insurance, and utilities can be deducted or depreciated according to IRS allowances. Percentages and limits apply, so talk to your tax professional.

 

Energy Star: If you purchased an energy efficient system or appliance for your home and it meets government Energy Star standards, you may deduct a portion of your expenses. Save your receipts!

 

Property sales deductions: If you purchased a home today, occupied it as a primary residence, and sold it in two years, you could be eligible for some capital gains exclusions up to $250,000 if you’re single, or $500,000 if you’re married. You can even live in the home two years, rent it out for three years, and still enjoy the capital gains exclusion.

 

There may be many other deductions out there for you to take advantage of that are associated with your home, so save all receipts throughout the year for repairs, parts, purchases, remodeling, etc. Some allowances and special circumstances apply, so before taking this exclusion, be sure to talk to your tax professional.

 

Save your tax records up to seven years, because you have to be able to support the deductions you take with documentation such as receipts, credit card statements, cancelled checks, and online banking. Make sure you take deductions and depreciation only for legitimate items.

 

Remember all the benefits you could be getting in deductions, your landlord is currently enjoying while billing all costs associated with managing the home to you. Wouldn’t you rather do that yourself?

 

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

Until next time.

 

 

-Adrienne

 

 

Contributor: Blanche Evans

BATHROOM REMODELS ON A BUDGET OF $1,000 OR $10,000

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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Remodeling the bathroom is one of the best investments you can make as a homeowner — whether you’re planning to live in your home for ten years or sell it within the next five. In fact, improving the atmosphere and functionality of the bathroom offers a huge benefit, especially if you’re starting with a cramped or outdated space. The biggest question, of course, is: How much budget do you have for your remodel? Not everyone can spend tens of thousands of dollars on a bathroom remodel.

So here are some projects that will improve your bathroom, whether you have a budget of $1,000 or $10,000:

$1,000:

A budget that caps at $1,000 doesn’t give you a lot of room to hire professionals. You’re going to have to do most of the work yourself — except when it comes to plumbing and electrical work. That’s best left to the professionals, and letting them handle it will save you money and hassle in the long run anyhow. Focus on the smaller DIY improvements that will revitalize and renew the bathroom’s appearance. Some projects to consider are:

Repainting the walls: If your bathroom walls are looking particularly drab, then adding a fresh coat of paint could do a lot for the room. Choose a shade that brings it into the 21st century and creates a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere. Make sure it matches your linens so you don’t have to replace those as well.

New tiling: Think about the tile in your bathroom, maybe the wall behind your bathtub or on the floor. If it’s cracked or outdated, now might be a good time to replace it. Vinyl and ceramic tile is quite affordable — costing anywhere between $2 and $5 per square foot, depending on the design. Generally, you’ll pay around $400 for 200 square feet of tile. Plus, you’ll have to lay it yourself. In comparison, professional tile installation averages around $900 – $2100– way outside your budget.

Additional storage: Depending on the size of your bathroom, you might want to look at how you can optimize storage. Think about a new medicine cabinet, baskets or a standing shelf if your bathroom has the room. You could spend anywhere between $100 and $200 on storage depending on which kind you decide to install.

Regrouting: To make your bathtub or shower look fresher and cleaner, regrout the tile. Scrub with a brush and a bleach solution. If you can’t get the debris off, think about removing the grout and reapplying a new layer. The cost of grout is about $20.

New exhaust fan: The exhaust fan in your bathroom helps prevent mildew and mold growth. If the exhaust fan is worn down and not running properly anymore, it’s time to replace it. The cost of a new bath fan averages at about $100, but it’s a worthwhile investment to avoid mildew growth.

Green showerhead: How much money are you paying for water right now? Do you like long, luxurious showers? To avoid cutting down your time in the hot water, think about replacing your showerhead with its green alternative. Low-flow showerheads can cost as little as $50 and are easy to install. Plus, you can still get high water pressure.

New faucet: Another investment you can make in your bathroom is to replace your faucet. A new faucet can really change the look of your sink and cut down costs on your water bill as well, depending on which one you choose. Most faucets cost about $50 to start, though the best types will cost upwards of $100. If you want an efficient faucet, keep an eye out for the Watersense logo.

$10,000:

When you have a more sizeable budget, you don’t have to rely so much on your two hands to do the work. You can hire local contractors for some of the projects in the bathroom, which saves you a lot of time and hassle. That doesn’t mean you can have the bathroom gutted and completely remodeled, though. A project like that will cost upwards of $22,000. But at least you can make some more major changes to the room including:

Granite countertops: Granite countertops have always been a popular investment for kitchens and bathrooms. However, they can cost a lot of money– about $3,100. So to save a few dollars, choose granite that has imperfections or countertops in neutral colors.

New accessories: Little accessories can make a big impact. Maybe it’s the overhead lighting, towel racks or drawer handles in the vanity. While these seem insignificant, together they can drastically increase the appeal and atmosphere of the bathroom. Do not replace your lighting fixtures on your own, but changing out bulbs with their LED or CFL alternatives is okay — and it cuts down on your electricity costs.

Refinishing fixtures: While you might think about replacing one or two of your bathroom fixtures, you shouldn’t try to replace all of them. Instead, think about refinishing some of your fixtures like the sink, shower and bathtub. If they’re made of cast iron, porcelain or fiberglass, this is a cheap investment with great results. Your fixtures will look almost brand new for a fraction of the cost to replace them. For example, the cost to refinish a bathtub is about $300 on the low end and $1,000 on the high end, as compared to replacing it for $2,200 on average.

More green updates: There are a lot of green updates you can make around the bathroom to save money on your utility bill. As reiterated before, CFL and LED lighting helps, as do low-flow showerheads and Watersense faucets. In addition, you can invest in dual-flush or no-flush waterless toilets, also under the Watersense label.

Conclusion

Bathroom remodeling doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. Despite your budget, there are always ways to save and still end up with a new, revitalized space. If you don’t have the budget to do what you want in the bathroom, you can at least make a few adjustments until you’re ready to gut the space for more major changes.

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.

-Adrienne

 

 

 

Contributor Andrea Davis

PATIO APPEAL MAY ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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Depending on where you live, a patio might not be the kind of thing you think about during the cold, and maybe snowy, winter months. But a patio is what many people enjoy on a sunny warm afternoon. It just feels good to sit outside and sip some iced tea or lemonade. That’s the picture your real estate agent would want to capture when listing your home for sale.

Patios are appealing because they can create a sense of peace, open space, freedom, and they can seem to extend the square footage of livable space on those good weather days.

Set out on your patio some simple but comfortable patio furniture when you’re listing your home and you might find that prospective buyers take a seat and think about your home. Good! Let them soak in the energy of the home. The way it feels. The way it allows them to relax. Set some brochures out on a side table. Maybe even a good book. You’d be surprised what these buyers pick up. If they enjoy themselves while sitting on your patio, you’re likely to have piqued their interest in your property.

So, what if you have a backyard but no patio; is it worth investing in one? The answer depends on your financial situation but there’s no doubt that having a patio or a deck – a space outdoors to relax – is a plus.

However, here are a few tips about creating that patio space. If you have a small backyard, you don’t necessarily want to take up the entire space with a concrete patio. The reason? Greenery is also appealing. Basically, you want to have the patio proportionally sized to your yard. So you don’t want to have a huge yard and tiny patio nor the opposite.

Your patio should be located close to an entryway to the home, typically the kitchen. This is so that if there is grilling or eating outside, people can easily access the kitchen as opposed to walking through some other room in the house first.

 

Patios also should be located in areas where there is some level of privacy. A patio is most appealing when you can sit back, relax and enjoy a good meal, book, or conversation without feeling like you’re being watched. So the backyard is usually the best location.

Buyers often consider a well-built and maintained patio a plus and may create a higher selling price for your home.

To cover or not? Often when homeowners put in patios, they question if adding a covering would help increase the value of their home. That really depends on many things such as if the covering is well built and maintained and if it’s aesthetically pleasing, not blocking views, etc. In the case where it’s crafted and maintained well, the patio and its covering can increase the appeal of your home. That could translate to a higher selling price as well as a faster sale.

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.

-Adrienne

STUCK ON STUCCO? HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW!

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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If you’re looking for a home with Southwest or Tuscan character or want to give more personality than wood siding provides to your home, stucco is back and is stirring up the market.

In use for more than two millennium, plaster work, or stucco, has long been appreciated for its utility. With its sand and cement base, it’s highly durable, maintenance-free, fire-resistant, and provides insulation. It also offers a wide variety of textures, colors and finishes compared to a brick, stone or wood-sided home.

But stucco hasn’t always been held in high regard with home buyers and sellers. In the 1990s, some synthetic stucco put a crack in the material’s reputation in America. Complaints about material cracks and trapped moisture that rots wood helped promote one of the biggest housing scare of the ‘90s — mold and mildew.

Synthetic stucco was introduced n the 1980s to the American market- an import from Europe that had been tested for decades. Known as external insulation finish stucco or EIFS, synthetic stucco is more commonly applied to wood siding, with a layer of foam board insulation between it and the wall, where as European stucco is applied directly to the external brick and mortar of a house.

Problems with stucco can still arise in the multi-step process that it takes to apply to your home. Depending on the makings of your home’s exterior, either wood siding or brick, synthetic stucco is first applied either with or without paper insulation on a wire mesh skeleton. Next the home is coated with many layers of plaster, to ensure adequate distribution of the material on the surface. It comes to a final depth of about one inch. If these layers aren’t properly applied, they can cause cracking and water problems in your home.

Brick homes are typically fine with synthetic stucco, though cracks around windows and doors can be a problem with moisture being trapped and unable to escape, but it’s the synthetic stucco on wood that causes the most problems. According to edubook.com “numerous houses in the USA are suffering from wood rot, caused by their EIFS coating.”

Stucco can cause minor cracks in your home’s finish, so you should expect them. They are easily patched, and are part of the natural settling of any building structure.

If you’re thinking of buying a home with stucco, find out if the home is cement or synthetic stucco. If the home is synthetic stucco on wood, that doesn’t mean there’s a problem, but make sure that there is adequate flashing around the base of material, especially where it comes in contact with new or other material. The flashing directs water away from the base of the material and is an extra safeguard against moisture buildup and future migraines. Be sure to ask the seller for any moisture, mildew, or mold disclosures.

One of the easiest ways to tell cement stucco from the synthetic stuff is to simply go up and gently rap your fist on it- synthetic sounds hollow while the real stuff will give a robust thud as it is considerably more solid.

So when considering stucco, remember that it’s stood the test of time for ages, it looks good and keeps maintenance costs low.

It’s a form of stone, after all.

As always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

 

 

 

Special thanks to Blanche Evans for her contribution to this article.

WHAT MAKES A HOME A GOOD BUY?

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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There’s no perfect home, but some homes are more ideal for your household than others. When you look for your next home, carefully consider these four criteria –price, features, location and condition. The closer you get to meeting all four criteria, the better your chances are of making a good buy.

Price

In any market, price has to come first. To determine what you can comfortably afford, talk to your real estate professional. He or she can recommend a lender who will prequalify you for a purchase loan. When you know how much you can spend, it will be easier to shop for homes within your price range. With luck, one will stand out.

Features

The size of your household and your activities determine the features you want in your next home. The number of bedrooms, baths and living areas are a matter of comfort and convenience. You may want an extra bedroom for guests or a second master suite for parents.

If you work a lot at home, you’ll want a private home office or a computer nook. You may want a playroom for the kids, a separate laundry area, and fenced yard and covered patio for entertaining. An eat-in kitchen may be more important to you than a formal dining room. You may want an outdoor kitchen or at least an entertainment area.

Think about your daily life from morning to bedtime, and how your next home can make these activities more pleasant. This should be your “must-have” list, and will help you look at homes more objectively.

Location

Some areas will always be more expensive to live in than others. Neighborhoods that are well-kept tend to maintain higher home values. Homes that are close to jobs, schools and shopping centers tend to sell for more money than homes without as much infrastructure.

What is the best home you can find in the area where you want to live? If these homes are out of your range, you can compromise — buy a smaller home or a home that needs lots of work in the best neighborhood you can afford.

Condition

Condition refers to the state of repair. Does the home have curb appeal? Is it updated and well-maintained, or does it need extensive and expensive remodeling? Carefully consider any deferred maintenance, such as a roof that may need to be replaced in only a few years. Consider the design and functionality — is the kitchen too small and would you be able to afford to remodel it? Look closely at repairs, cleanliness and traffic flow.

The one advantage of buying a home that needs updates and repairs is that these homes cost less than updated homes in the same neighborhood.

Be prepared to compromise. Don’t frustrate yourself or your family looking for perfection. Sometimes the home of your dreams doesn’t have every feature on your checklist, or it may be a little further away than your favorite neighborhood, but you’ll be happy if it has most of criteria you want at the price you can afford.

While showing homes, I always ask my buyer-client to rate the home on a scale of 1 to 10. When I get a response of at least an 8. I tell them that’s probably the home for them because a 10 does not exist. There is no ‘perfect’ home but the home could always be made as close to perfect as possible.

You got questions?…………..I got answers!

And as always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EDT only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

 

 

 

Special thanks to Blanche Evans for her contribution to this article

BUYERS-SHOULD YOU WAIT FOR LOWER PRICES OR LOWER INTEREST RATES?

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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Right now, buyers have the best of both worlds — home prices have risen, but they’re still below the bubble of 2005, and mortgage interest rates are just above record lows. Yet, many buyers are still waiting for a sign that it’s the right time to buy. Why is that?

 

So, should you wait for prices to go down or for lower interest rates?  The answer is neither.

 

The price of a home is fixed, so it makes sense to wait for prices to go lower, but what you may not realize is that prices have to drop significantly to beat a minor fluctuation in mortgage interest rates.

 

Home prices have been rising for the past five years, sometimes in the double digits. Between January 2014 and January 2015, home prices rose over six percent. If sales continue at the current pace, it’s more likely that the home you don’t buy today could be more expensive later.

 

In the time you wait for price reductions, you could effectively build equity, or ownership in your home. Very few homeowners keep a loan for 30 years anymore. People change jobs, get divorced, move up, downsize, refinance and have other reasons for not keeping their original mortgage. So the time is NOW!

 

So let’s look at a few what-ifs and see when it’s best for you to buy a home. Using round numbers, on a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.00 percent, your monthly payment starting May 2015 will be $955. At seven years, the average length of time that most buyers occupy their homes today, you’ll pay $52,898 in interest and the remainder of your loan will be $171,738.

 

 

If you wait around and interest rates go up, you’ll be paying more monthly, plus you won’t build equity as quickly. At 4.5 percent, your monthly payment will be $1,013 and you’ll pay $59,828 in interest. Your loan remainder is higher – $173, 692. A half a point increase in interest will cost you $58 more per month, $6,930 more in interest, and you’ll end up with $1,954 less in equity.

 

If your home dropped 5% in value and you were able to get a loan for $190,000 and 4.5% interest, your payment would be $963, a difference of $51 less per month than if you’d paid $200,000.

 

But what if you’re wrong and prices go up by five percent? At $210,000 and 4.5 percent interest, you’ll pay $1064 per month, $62,820 in interest, and the remainder on the loan will be $182,376. That’s a difference of $109 more on your monthly payment and $9830 more in interest, plus you’ll lose $10,638 in equity.

 

So, my question to YOU would be “Why not buy NOW when both prices and interest rates are lower?”

 

You got questions?…………..I got answers!

 

And as always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EST only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

Until next time.

 

-Adrienne

HOW TO USE A REVERSE MORTGAGE TO BUY A NEW HOME…

Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Websitehttp://www.ToughMarketTV.com   |   EmailAdrienneDaugherty1@gmail.com  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

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The reverse mortgage industry was developed to provide seniors (aged 62 and above) a means to stay in their homes and utilize the mortgage proceeds to supplement their incomes. But not all seniors want to remain in their current homes.

 

Some seniors want to downsize, or trade their two-stories for one level, or live in a home with barrier-free Universal Design that makes it easier to reach cabinets, turn doorknobs, use a wheelchair, and more. Others may want to relocate closer to family, or to enjoy the activities of a senior community.

 

Now, thanks to HUD’s FHA- Reverse Mortgage to Purchase, seniors can buy a new home, using the same advantages of a traditional reverse mortgage. Reverse Mortgages are increasing in popularity with seniors who have equity in their homes and want to supplement their income. The only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. Federal Government is called a Home Equity Conversion.

 

Mortgage or HECM, and is only available through an FHA approved lender.

 

Like the FHA conventional reverse mortgages, the Reverse Mortgage to Purchase allows seniors to buy a new home with no credit or income requirements, and no monthly payments for as long as they occupy the home as their primary residence, maintain the home, pay property taxes, and so on.

 

You have questions? I have answers! (you knew that was coming…didn’t ya?) 🙂

 

Here’s how it works:

Borrowers who would normally sell their current home in order to have a down payment, or if they have enough cash to put toward the new home purchase, they may keep their current home as a rental investment.

 

The down payment can only come from the sale of the current home, the sale of other assets, or savings. The borrowers may not use cash from credit cards, bridge loans, seller financing or seller contributions to closing costs.

 

 

The downpayment plus the proceeds from the reverse mortgage pay for the new home. The sale of the current home and the purchase of the new home can be completed in a single transaction.

 

Eligible homes for purchase include single-family homes, HUD-approved condominiums, planned unit developments, two-to-four-unit properties, and manufactured homes built after June 15, 1976. Reverse mortgages to purchase may not be used on coops, second homes, boarding houses, bed and breakfasts, or homes on leased land.

 

Borrowers must occupy the home as their primary residence within 60 days of the closing date. If the borrowers are purchasing new or ongoing construction, the construction must be complete and a certificate of occupancy must be issued prior to the loan application.

 

With an aging population that’s living longer and likely to outlive savings or outspend Social Security and other retirement funds, reverse mortgages to purchase can be a legitimate option for seniors. To learn more, consult with a lender that is HUD-approved to learn more about HECM for Purchase loans.

 

And, as always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EST only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

 

 

Until next time.

-Adrienne