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Tips for Spring Home Buyers and Sellers in Champaign/Urbana!

by Rose Price

Spring is fast approaching. As the flowers bloom and the weather warms, home buyers and sellers start looking to enter the real estate market. If you are ready to Buy or Sell you home in Champaign/Urbana this spring, it is important to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are my helpful tips for spring buying and selling in our area.

 

Spring Buyers!

As a buyer, your first step is to know the Champaign/Urbana market. Research what housing options are available to you as well as the current list prices. Before you begin to seriously search for your new home, it is important to have your Financing situated ahead of time. This allows you to accurately know what you can afford and makes you a more attractive buyer when you enter negotiations with a seller. Realize that the spring market means increased competition from other potential buyers. Once you find your dream home, you want to stand out from other offers. Consider writing a personal letter to the seller expressing why you love their home and know that it would be a good fit for you and your family. Also, remain flexible during the negotiation process to ensure that you can get the home you want.  


 

Spring Sellers!

As a seller, you need to know Your Home's Value before you list. This will enable you to price your home correctly. Since other sellers will be listing their homes this spring, you want to stand out from the competition. You can do this by improving your home’s curb appeal, staging your home, and completing any home improvement projects. Consider some updates to your home that will give you a great return on investment. To get top dollar for your home and sell it quickly, work with Champaign/Urbana’s Top Realtor!






Champaign Rose is here to help you buy or sell this spring!  Give me a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/ to get started today.

What Happens Before, During, and After the Home Inspection

by Rose Price

You’ve found your dream home in Champaign/Urbana! Congrats! You are ready to head into the final stages of the home buying process, namely closing. But before you start packing the moving truck to head over to your new address, it is important to take one last look at your potential new home….this time with a Home Inspector!

 

A home inspection is an important step to protect the buyer. It allows you to find out about any potential structural or mechanical issues with the home. It will help you determine whether or not you want to move forward and close on the home or if you need to renegotiate the agreement with the seller. No matter what is revealed in the home inspection, it is important to remember that knowledge is power and you are getting the necessary assurances for your investment. Don’t know where to begin or what to expect in the home inspection? Don’t worry! Champaign Rose is here to help.

 

 

Before the inspection

 

Your first step is to find the best home inspector for the job. In order to do so, you should interview several different inspectors to discover their background and areas of expertise. Ask to see their past inspection reports. If you find one with a highly detailed report that offers recommendations for found issues, they are a keeper. If you would like a list of great home inspectors in our area, contact me today!


During the home inspection.

 

The inspector will spend several hours examining the home. They will look at the physical structure of the home, including roof, ceilings, walls, doors, windows, and floors, as well as mechanical and electrical systems. The plumbing and major appliances will be reviewed. It is highly recommended that you attend the home inspection. This allows you to find out about issues as they are find and ask any questions. There is one important thing to remember during the home inspection. It is not a total x-ray of the home. There are still some issues that can remain hidden within the home or that the home inspector simply isn’t qualified to recognize. Keep this in mind as you continue to budget for your new home. While you can renegotiate your deal based on the findings of the home inspector, you should still expect some potential costs once you move in.

 

After the inspection.

Review the home inspection report. Discuss the findings with your realtor to determine how your deal can be renegotiated if issues were find or if it makes more financial sense to walk away from the home and find a different property. 

 

Check out my other Home Buying Tips! Give me a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/ so that I can help you find your dream home in Champaign/Urbana today.

Buying a new house is an exciting and important time! There is no better place to call home than CHAMPAIGN/URBANA! House hunting in a seller's market, though, adds more factors for you to consider during the process. Although the market might not be favoring buyers at the moment, there are many things that you can use to your advantage to help you buy your dream home! Look through the current HOUSE LISTINGS so I can help you begin this exciting journey, and follow these 6 useful tips for buyers in a seller's market.

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT. Eliminate some of the time and stress that comes with house hunting by working with an experienced real estate agent. Champaignrose  & Landmark Real Estate is here to help you find your dream home! Let me know exactly what you are looking for. I understand the Champaign/Urbana housing market, now what is available, and negotiate the best deal for your new home! Here is WHY BUYERS CHOOSE ME!

BE PREAPPROVED BY A LENDER. Get preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender that you can present to the seller. This shows that you are serious about buying the home and makes the seller feel more comfortable knowing that your finances are in order. If you already know that you can afford the home and have a high credit score, get this part of the process out of the way when you initially start your house hunting process. It can help you stand apart from the other buyers. For help with the kinds of loans that are available for you, check out our  FINANCE INFORMATION

BE DECISIVE IN MAKING AN OFFER. Buying a home is a major decision so being thoughtful about the home you make an offer on is imperative. But don’t get bogged down in over analyzing. Before you begin the house hunting process, be sure to know exactly what you are looking for in your dream home…price, location, and type. When you find a home that checks all of the factors you have previously determined, make an offer! You don’t want to miss out on your dream home due to overthinking.

MAKE YOUR BEST OFFER. Start with a strong opening offer. You should know the maximum that you are willing to pay. Set a BUDGET so you are fully area of what you can afford and can make more informed decisions. Although we all want to get the best deal possible, in a seller’s market competition is high. If you come in with too low of an opening offer, you could miss out on your dream home. Be aware of what other houses are on the market and the pricing of the homes in the area. This will help you determine what is an appropriate amount to negotiate for the house you want. Have a strong opening offer that you are comfortable with AND that will be acceptable to the seller.

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR. Bidding wars inevitably cause stress for buyers. The fear of missing out on your dream home is understandable. However, competition in a seller’s market is high. Know what you are willing to pay and search for houses below your max budget. This will help you avoid spending more than you are comfortable with should you end up in a bidding war.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. You might not get the first home that you make an offer on. In a seller’s market, it is likely that you will have to make several offers on homes before finding the perfect one for you. Recognize what happened with the transactions that don’t work out and learn from them. Stay true to what you want and realize that there are other options in the Champaign/Urbana that I will help you find!

Source: TRULIA

Spring House Hunting Tips For Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Forget the groundhog, you can tell it’s almost spring by all the “For Sale” signs in the yards.  

It’s shaping up to be a competitive home buying season, inventory is low and demand is high!  So, if you snooze, you lose!  Literally.  

Lack of preparation is the number one reason people lose their dream home, so here are some tips to keep you ahead of the competition.  

Close your laptop!  Get out of the house and look the old fashioned way

Using Real Estate sites to search for your home is the norm.  90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process.

Starting your search online is a good idea, but don’t get so caught up that you forget there is a world outside too.  Inventory, in most markets is expected to be tight, so you want to get out and look as soon as possible.  Remember when demand outpaces the inventory of homes, buyers need to be ready to move quickly.  So get pre-approved, know what you are looking for and when you find it, pounce!  

Another thing to remember is that photos online are taken to make the home look it’s absolute best, so it may not accurately represent what you see when you pull up, rather just what the Seller wants you to see.  So, use the internet as a tool, not your whole strategy.  

Some sites let you select certain neighborhoods and then receive alerts when new homes become available, this is the perfect use of the internet, you become alerted and then can go see the home for yourself.

Educate Yourself .  Know the Market Values and Market Trends

Rely on your Realtor for this.  The best source of information is a well connected Real Estate Agent.  They’re the expert and have a wealth of information to share with you.  Ask questions and be sure you really understand the bigger picture.  You can also check out sites like Curbed.com for trends in particular areas and to see where new inventory is popping up.  

Everything isn’t always exactly as it appears.  There could be “micro trends” which are little trends unique to a certain area in your region that could affect prices.  Things like, maybe new homes are selling at a premium to older ones or the demand for condos outpaces the demand for single family homes.  These things will affect your price.  Be aware, too, that there could be micro-trends in your region that 

BUY NOW.  Snag A Low Mortgage Rate—Now

Mortgage rates are going up.  So, now is definitely the time to buy.  Take advantage of the low interest while you can.  

Mortgage rates are still historically low, so buyers are getting a lot more bang for their buck and at payment levels that will be affordable for decades.  Mortgage rates are so low right now that monthly payments are lower than rent in a lot of markets.  

It’s predicted that these low interest rates will stay through the spring.  Home Buyers received another gift recently, when The Federal Housing Authority, which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments, lowered the annual insurance premium required from 1.35% to just .85%.  It’s estimated that this will save more than 2 million FHA homeowners about $900 a year.  

What this means: It’s a prime time to jump on a home loan. Mortgage rates can be unpredictable—and a decision by the Fed to raise interest rates mid-year, as many economists predict, could cause them to spike.

Build A Home Buying Dream Team…Then Make A Bid

To be a serious contender in the Home Buying game, you need to be organized and ready, especially if a bidding war begins.

You will need a savvy real estate agent obviously, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector and attorney to be ready so you can move fast.  

Complete your mortgage application and get your loan amount determined in advance.  Things move faster today and if you are not 100% pre-approved, you probably won’t get the house.  Some people, the most successful buyers are even going one step further and getting fully approved before purchasing.  Not all lenders offer this, but some do, and if they do, it’s a way to ensure you are the top contender.  And the better known your lender is locally, the more likely you’ll win the confidence of the seller.  Lenders from the Internet can seem sketchy in the eyes of Sellers and their agents.  It’s always best to use someone who is known locally.  

Don't Be Afraid To Sweeten The Deal

So, what if you are stuck in a bidding war with an equally qualified buyer?  How do you win?  

One way is to include an escalation clause, which is an amount that you are willing to pay above a competing bid.  

For example, if you included an escalation clause of $3,000 to your bid of $200,000 and the second offer came in at $205,000, then your bid would get bumped to $208,000. 

You can also consider removing contingency clauses.  Contingencies are terms of a contract that must be met or the buyer or seller can walk away from the deal; home inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies are among the most common.  All of these presents a certain level of risk, so consult with your Realtor and team before removing any.  These can often be removed just by doing due diligence.  For instance, you can remove the financing clause if you get fully approved.  Also, be sure to conduct a pre-inspection prior to making your offer, this way, you won’t have to include an inspection contingency.  

There are also smaller but nice gifts you can use to entice a Seller.  Find out what date the Seller prefers to close, then use that date in your contract.  You can also offer to close as quickly as possible, and offer to accept rent payments from the Seller until their planned move date. Adding these little perks can mean a lot more than you think.  There have been times my seller ultimately went with a lower bid, simply because it had NO CONTINGENCIES. Many Sellers prefer NO RISK as opposed to a few extra bucks.  

Most of this has to do with preparation and knowledge.  Don’t get caught off guard and lose your dream home because you weren’t properly prepared.  This starts with your Realtor.  Find a trusted expert and then work hard with them!

If you're looking for more information or tips on the buying process in Champaign IL, call The Rose Price Team, experts in relocation and led by Rose Price, a trusted Real Estate Agent since 1989.     

 

 

 

Is Seller Financing for you?

by Rose Price

With an increase in credit requirements, it can be tough trying to get a home loan. Even buyers who have excellent credit are having difficulties getting approved. On the flip side, many people that are anxious to sell their Champaign, Illinois home, can’t get qualified buyers to the closing table. If you are interested in taking out the middle man and controlling more of the process, you may want to consider seller financing.

If you have never heard of this before, basically the person selling the home lends the potential buyer the money to purchase the house. The seller becomes the mortgage holder and the buyer sends monthly mortgage payments directly to the seller. The transaction is usually completed using a promissory that states the interest rate, length and terms of the loan and default consequences.

In today’s market, sellers may need to get their homes sold quickly, and seller financing is a way to get the property sold faster – it opens up the market to more buyers and the paperwork process moves quickly.

Some advantages to doing this type of financing:

  • Faster closing – Sellers and buyers can avoid long waits for loan committee review, underwriting and legal review.
  • Lower Closing Costs – buyers don’t have to shell out additional money for bank fees and other closing costs associated with a traditional mortgage.
  • Flexible down payment – most sellers are willing to take less money down than lending institutions.

Of course this is not for everyone and many home sellers may not be in a position to where they can offer financing. On the downside, there is risk involved on both sides – the seller is taking a risk on someone who may have some shaky payment history or poor credit, and the buyer is dependent on the seller to have been upfront on the terms of the sale (like making sure that the seller’s lender approves the arrangement). As with any large transaction, especially a property purchase, both parties should consult with a real estate attorney and financial expert to make sure that the transaction is legal and is financially sound. If you are ready to buy and can’t find a lender, seller financing may be worth checking out!

For more information or if you're looking to buy or sell your home using seller financing, Contact Me Today!

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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A recent survey on behalf of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE: WHR) and Habitat for Humanity International conducted by the NAHB Research Center found that individuals who are renting perceive homeownership as a preference. In fact, 68 percent of individuals currently paying rent for their residences said they would prefer to own their own houses. Although previous releases issued about this study have discussed the feeling among consumers about the cost of owning a home, this information demonstrates that regardless of concerns, the general perception among those surveyed is that they prefer to own a home. The complete study reported opinions from consumers and builders on various topics related to home building.

There are many noteworthy challenges that come with renting and this was shown in the survey by Whirlpool and Habitat as well. The majority of renters also displayed a perception of being concerned with their costs—60 percent said they were concerned about the cost to rent, while 52 percent said they were concerned about the cost of electric and gas bills.

"We're encouraged that this study demonstrates the desire of consumers to become home owners," says Tom Halford, general manager, contract sales and marketing, Whirlpool Corporation. "Whirlpool Corporation is proud to work with Habitat for Humanity International to help build homes that can have a positive impact on families and communities."

According to the survey, another factor when it comes to home ownership is the perceived safety. Of all renter respondents, 44 percent said they had not taken any action to increase the safety of their households in the past 6-12 months. Other respondents said they undertook minor safety precaution projects such as installing a lock on a door (32%) and putting in a smoke alarm (31%).

Besides owning their own houses, other desired changes that renters indicated they would like included having a backyard (39%), the ability to decorate (38%), upgrading appliances (36%) and increasing home eco-efficiency (31%).

For more information, visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com/habitat or www.Habitat.org.

Want to know more? Contact your real estate agent for any questions regarding homeownership in your local area.

 

 

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Home Buyers Looking For Latest Trends

by Rose Price

In today's tough competitive real estate market, potential Champaign, Illinois homebuyers have increasingly made it clear that their‘must have’ list of amenities now includes efficient, sustainable materials and features that focus on making their home an affordable sanctuary to live and work. Gone are the extravagant, over the top, “McMansion” types of home and now the trend is for thoughtfully planned living areas that combine both indoor and outdoor lifestyles and make room for a home office. Below are some of the top trends that homebuyers are looking for:

  1. Green building and sustainability – from recycled materials to water wells and water collection systems, today’s home buyer is concerned with organic, sustainable features. While green building can sometimes be expensive up front, even the cost conscious know that the results may save money in the long run.
  2. Energy efficiency – those who go green are also concerned with sustainable, efficient resources. Buyers want energy efficient appliances and the latest in insulation techniques using spray foam and gels. Not only do they reduce current energy costs, but energy efficient homes help with resale.
  3. Outdoor living areas – more people are staying home these days, and one of the hottest trends is outdoor living areas that create a seamless indoor to outdoor space and include living room style features. From comfortable sofas to televisions and sound systems and creative outdoor cooking areas, the right outdoor space becomes a natural extension of the interior.
  4. Main floor master suites with luxurious baths – now more than ever, home is an oasis for hardworking homeowners, and large masters on the main floor (away from kids rooms or play areas) are key to a homeowner’s satisfaction. Along with the master, buyers are interested in soaker tubs, walk-in showers with seating and dual showerheads.
  5. Home offices – more and more people find themselves telecommuting or working from home in the evenings, and space for a home office has taken priority over traditional home features like formal dining and living and even media rooms. Home buyers seek that unique space that separates work from family living areas.

Home buyers priorities have shifted to reflect changing economic times. The top trends reflect a new desire for comfort and flexible lifestyles, along with an ever growing concern for sustainability and efficiency.

Reach out to a well-informed realtor who can give you the latest industry trends!

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