Kathy O'Brien Realty - Lake Champlain & Vermont

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TRY IT NO THANKS

Blog :: 2013

Motivated Sellers, Better Prices, Less Competition

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The Winter Home Buyer Report conducted in the second week of November by REALTOR.com revealed the sentiments of current home buyers expecting to buy a house during the winter months. It appears that there is pent-up demand with buyers who were unable to purchase a home recently. Most cited as an impediment to purchase was the challenge of low inventory.

Strong demand coupled with short supply explains why home prices have been increasing. "This summer and spring home buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory. In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home buying season," said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at REALTOR.com. "While buyers are still experiencing challenges with inventory and approximately one in five buyers plan to put down all cash, there are advantages to looking for a home in the winter.

Motivated sellers, better prices and less competition between buyers are some of the top reasons winter home buyers are interested in purchasing a home during the colder months of the year." Some interesting statistics taken from the report are: Biggest challenges when searching for a home during winter: 34 percent shared that there is not enough inventory on the market 29 percent believe that winter weather makes house hunting unpleasant.

Traditionally, the industry has found that the fourth quarter of the year has a lower sales volume and is generally attributed to distractions from the holidays and not wanting to make a move during consistently inclement weather. Even in areas that are not affected by extreme winter weather, there seems to be a mindset about moving in the winter. Indications are that it may be advantageous for sellers to put their home on the market now rather than wait until after the first of the year.

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    Thanksgiving is Always in Season

    images Most school children would probably say that Thanksgiving dates back to the Pilgrims at Plymouth as early as 1621. By the late 1660s, it had become traditional to hold a harvest festival in New England. President George Washington declared the first nation-wide thanksgiving in 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.

    One of America's Founding Fathers thought the turkey should be the national bird of the United States. In a letter to his daughter sent in 1784, Benjamin Franklin suggested that the wild turkey would be a more appropriate national symbol for the newly independent United States than the bald eagle (which had earlier been chosen by the Continental Congress). He argued that the turkey was "a much more respectable Bird", "a true original Native of America", and "though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage."

    One hundred fifty years ago during the Civil War, in October 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving. William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State, drafted the proclamation: No human counsel hath devised not hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.

    Even though the country was in the middle of the costly Civil War, the people of America started an enduring tradition to give thanks. In 1941, Congress determined that Thanksgiving will be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.

    Improving The Equity Of Your Home

    I found this article to be relevant! Many sellers feel the value of their home does is not impacted by cosmetic improvements or fall out from the recession. The value of a home IS affected by supply and demand as this article points out.

    Look at the improved equity position on a 15-year mortgage vs 30-year mortgage. Equity is the difference in what your home is worth and what you owe. Ideally, as the value goes up and the unpaid balance goes down with each amortized payment made, the equity grows from two directions. This dynamic leads to increasing a person's net worth much faster than many other investments. A homeowner has minimal control over value. It is necessary to maintain the property to avoid depreciation and make good decisions on capital improvements. After that, appreciation is generally controlled by supply and demand and the economy. Mortgage management is something that the homeowner does have control. Making the decision to select a shorter term mortgage at a lower interest rate can have an impact on equity build-up. Lower interest rates amortize faster than higher interest rates which will also affect equity growth. Currently, it is possible to get a 1% lower rate on a 15-year mortgage than a 30-year mortgage. Compare two alternatives of a 30-year and a 15-year mortgage. The payments will definitely be higher on the shorter term because it pays off quicker. However, if a person can afford the higher payments of $362.53 more per month in this example, the equity will be greater. Even after you take into consideration the higher payments, the increased equity is $17,236 at the end of the seven-year holding period.

    Another decision that can affect equity build-up is making additional principal contributions along with the regular payments. Whether you're making an occasional lump sum payment toward principal or regular monthly contributions, it will save interest, build equity and shorten the term on a fixed rate mortgage. Estimate your personal savings with this Equity Accelerator.

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