Aug. 9, 2017

Stop What You're Doing...The Fair Is Here!

Seriously why does the world stop when the Iowa State Fair arrives? Do we just need to satisfy our yearly lust for greasy fattening food that comes on a stick? Everyone just stops what they are doing to make that annual pilgrimage to what is considered one of the best state fairs in America. So what does this have to do with Real Estate? I'll tell you what!!!! I don't have open houses during the fair because I have little to no traffic the two Sundays that they fair is going on. Calls about homes even drop off considerably. However this market is different than in years past so maybe this time it will be different. I'm going to have an open house & sell that home while the fair is going on from August 10th to the 20th. I just need to prove to myself that the Iowa State Fair is not the home selling hex that I and many others in my profession believe that it is. With that said I just looked at the Des Moines forecast that is expected to be nothing less than phenomenal with temps in the 80's for the entirety of the fair. Now that I'm thinking about it I've been craving my favorites like Chicken on a stick & the ever so tasty cheese curds. Of course it would be hard to pass up the traditional corn dog or even a pork chop on a stick. Ah crap forgot about open houses for the next two weeks. If you need me I'll be at the Iowa State Fair. Please feel free to call me I should have my phone on. 

 

JC Walker
Realtor
RE/MAX Precision
(515) 707-8487
Licensed to sell real estate in the State of Iowa. 
Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
June 2, 2017

What If I Wait To Buy A Home?

 

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy? | Simplifying The Market

First-time homebuyers are flocking to the housing market in greater numbers than any time in the last few years. Renters who are ready and willing to buy are now realizing that they are also able to as well. Many first-time buyers are Millennials (born between 1981 – 1997).

If you are one of the many in this generation who sees your friends and family diving head first into the real estate market, and wonder if now is the time for you to do the same, keep reading!

 

The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.

Let’s look at an example of what the experts are predicting for the upcoming year, and what that really would mean for you. Let’s say you’re 30 and your dream house costs $250,000 today. Right now mortgage interest rates are at or about 4%.

Your monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest only) would be $1,193.54.

But you’re busy, you like your apartment, and moving is such a hassle. You decide to wait until next year to buy. CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by 5.1% in the next 12 months; this means that same house you loved now costs, $262,750.

Freddie Mac predicts that over this same period of time, interest rates will be a full point higher at 5.0%. Your new payment per month is now $1,410.50.

The difference in payment is $216.96 PER MONTH!

That’s basically like taking $8 and tossing it out the window EVERY DAY!

Or you could look at it this way:

  • That’s your morning coffee everyday on the way to work (average $2) with $10 left for lunch!
  • There goes Friday Sushi Night! ($50 x 4)
  • Stressed Out? How about a few deep tissue massages with tip!
  • Need a new car? You could get a brand new car for $217 a month.

Let’s look at that number annually! Over the course of your new mortgage at 5.0%, your annual additional cost would be $2,603.52!

Had your eye on a vacation in the Caribbean? How about a 2-week trip through Europe? Or maybe your new house could really use a deck for entertaining. We could come up with 100’s of ways to spend $2,603, and we’re sure you could too!

Over the course of your 30 year loan, now at age 61, hopefully you are ready to retire soon, you would have spent an additional $78,105.60, all because when you were 30 you thought moving in 2015 was such a hassle or loved your apartment too much to leave yet.

Or maybe there wasn’t an agent out there who educated you on the true cost of waiting a year. Maybe they thought you wouldn’t be ready. But if they showed you that you could save $78,000 you’d at least listen to what they had to say.

They say hindsight is 20/20, we’d like to think that 30 years from now when you are 60, looking back, you would say to buy now…

 

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
June 2, 2017

4 Ways To Craft An Offer A seller Can't Refuse

It can take a time and effort to find the perfect home to purchase. After you have found that home, you need to convince the seller that your offer is the one they want to choose. There may be multiple offers made at the same time, and you may be in a situation where you are competing for the home. Even if your offer is the only one the seller receives, there is no requirement that they must accept the offer you make. Crafting an effective offer that will catch the seller's attention is important, and you may be able to accomplish this by following a few tips.

                                                          

 

Offer Close To The Asking Price                                        

One of the first things most sellers will look at when they receive an offer is the price you are offering to pay. You may feel as though the seller is asking too much for the home, and your agent may advise you to offer a lower price. On the other hand, there may be multiple offers, and you may feel as though you need to offer a price higher than what is being requested. With your real estate agent's advice in mind, consider that a seller will be more inclined to accept an offer if it is close to what they are asking. If your offer is too low, they may decline it without looking at the other merits to your offer.


Request A Quick Closing

When you prepare your offer, one of the factors that you will have control over is the requested closing date. Sellers generally want to close quickly, but this is not always the case. Each market is unique, but a general rule of thumb is to offer a closing date that is 21 to 28 days away, contingent on mortgage approval. You may work with your real estate agent and mortgage company to determine when a reasonable closing date is. However, offering a quick closing generally shows that you are a motivated buyer.


Choose A Shorter Option Period

A sales contract has an option period, which allows the buyer to back out of the deal for any reason. This may be a time when you get your third party reports, such as the property inspection, completed. A shorter option period may be preferred by sellers. This is because the buyer is generally locked into the contract contingent on mortgage approval after the option period has expired.


Offer A Higher Non-Refundable Good Faith Amount

When you make an offer, you will also give the seller a good faith or earnest money deposit. The amount of the deposit will be disclosed in the contract, and you will typically hand it off after the offer has been accepted. This is the amount of money that you stand to lose if you do not follow through on the terms of the contract. A higher good faith or earnest money amount shows that you are serious about buying the home. 


There are many factors that a seller is thinking about when reviewing an offer. While the entire offer will be reviewed fully, the fact is that these factors are generally given significant weight in most seller decisions. You can work with your real estate agent to structure the best offer possible. 

If you need assistance in writing the perfect offer no seller can refuse please let me know!

JC Walker
RE/MAX Precision
(515)707-8487
jc@movingiowa.com

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
June 2, 2017

Can Color Really Affect Your Sleep?

 

Check out this infographic from a study done by Men’s Health magazine.  They surveyed over 2000 people to find out how bedroom color schemes affect sleeping patterns.

There is an almost 2 hour per night difference between blue rooms and purple rooms!

What do you think?  Any chance this is true?

 

color affects your sleep

JC Walker
RE/MAX Precision
(515)707-8487


May 25, 2016

Sell Your Des Moines Home Faster With An Outdoor Makeover

 

When you put your home on the market, it’s important that you make the indoor living space as attractive as possible to potential buyers. The foyer should look spacious and inviting. The bedrooms, neat and uncluttered. The basement, clean and well lit.

All good advice.

But don’t forget the outdoor living space. That too has a significant impact on how quickly your home sells and for how much. You want to make the area around your property, from the front walkway to the backyard deck, as attractive as possible.

How do you do that? Here are some tips for sprucing up your outdoor living space that can be easily implemented.

  • Trim the hedges. Like a haircut, it gives your landscaping a clean, styled look.
  • Place flower pots in strategic locations, such as next to the front steps and on the deck or patio.
  • Fix anything that’s loose or squeaking, such as fence gates, shutters and deck railings.
  • Remove anything unsightly, like garbage bags and piles of garden cuttings.
  • Sweep all walkways, especially the one leading to your front door.
  • Wash the outsides of your windows. (No need for ladders, buckets and scrub brushes. Most home improvement stores now sell window washing kits that hook up to your garden hose.)
  • Check to make sure everything works: water taps, electrical outlets, exterior lights, etc.

You can probably get most of this work done in a single weekend. It’s worth it. Making your outdoor living space look great will dramatically increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers. 

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
April 5, 2016

Home Inspection Troubles

You shop for a home. You find one you like. You make an offer — conditional on a satisfactory home inspection.

Okay so far.

Then the inspector discovers a problem with the home that may require an expensive repair or renovation. Perhaps the frame in the front door is cracked; or there’s a leak in the roof; or the furnace is due to be replaced.

What do you do?

You don’t want to pass up an opportunity to purchase what could be your dream home. On the other hand, you don’t want to have to deal with potentially costly repairs.

First, keep in mind that you did the right thing.

It’s always a good idea to get a home inspected by a professional before the offer is finalized. A qualified home inspector will go over the property with a fine tooth comb, top to bottom, inside and out, inspecting the structure, electrical systems, HVAC systems and more.

It’s their job to find any deficiencies in the home and alert you to them.

If a deficiency is found, your next best step is to discuss the issue with your REALTOR®, and go over your options. Those options may include amending the offer price to cover some or all of the costs of the repair, or requiring the seller to get the repair done before you move in.

Don’t worry. This is a normal part of the negotiation process. Chances are, an agreement can be reached that is satisfactory to both parties — and gets you the house you want!

And, because you had a home inspection done, you’ll know the true condition of your home when you buy it. That’s peace of mind.

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
April 5, 2016

Home Staging Tips

When it comes to “staging” your home for sale – which basically means ensuring it looks clean and uncluttered – you probably already know the basics: clean the counters, vacuum the floors, mow the lawn, etc.

But there are some home staging tips that are less obvious, yet can help to sell your property faster and for a higher price. For example…

The Kitchen

Obvious: The stove, sinks and countertops should be spotless.
Not-so-obvious: The contents of your cabinets and refrigerator should be facing face forward.

The Bathrooms

Obvious: They should be clean and uncluttered. Have fresh towels hanging neatly on the rack. (The “hotel bathroom” look.)
Not-so-obvious: All towels should match. Ensure toilet lids are closed.

Your Bedroom

Obvious: Make the bed neatly. Check that the closet is organized and uncluttered. (If your closet is bulging with clothes, put some in storage.)
Not-so-obvious: Don’t leave any clothes out. Even clean clothes neatly folded in a hamper can seem untidy to some people.

The Kids’ Bedrooms

Obvious: They need to be clean and, especially, uncluttered. (Good luck!)
Not-so-obvious: Arrange stuffed animals, games and other toys like an attractive display in a toy store. It’s okay to have a toy, like a race track, out of the box. Just make sure it’s completely put together. (No pieces lying around.)

The Garage

Obvious: Make sure the floor is clean and that things are put away.
Not-so-obvious: If possible, get everything (except the car!) off the floor and onto shelves and hanging hooks. This will make a dramatic difference in how roomy the garage will look.

These not-so-obvious staging tips may seem minor, but they add up to a home that is much more attractive to potential buyers.

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
April 5, 2016

Home Selling Stress

Selling a house can be a stressful process for the entire family. You need to keep the place clean and looking its best. You need to stay away during viewings. You may even need to look for a new home at the same time.

Although you won’t be able to eliminate all the anxiety, good advanced planning will certainly help reduce it.

First, talk to a REALTOR® well before you decide to put the property on the market. A good REALTOR® can help you determine whether any repairs, improvements, or minor touch-ups should be done, so that your home will sell faster and for the best price possible.

Once the property is on the market, plan some excursions with the family during open houses and other viewing times. These are the perfect opportunities to check out local restaurants, museums, parks and other amenities.

To keep your home clean and tidy for potential buyers, consider hiring a maid service on a short-term basis. You’ll have a lot on your plate during this period and having the floors and washrooms cleaned by someone else can relieve a lot of stress.

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
Dec. 16, 2015

Des Moines Foreclosures? Still A Good Deal?

 

I still get asked about foreclosures all the time. Are there still great deals to be had when buying Des Moines foreclosures? Well sometimes I guess. You are going to have to work a little harder to find them that's for sure. Most I see anymore are over priced and need more work than most are willing to do. Again you might find that diamond in the rough if you willing to put in the time. There are not many option right now but the few that are out there can be found at http://www.movingiowa.com/search/foreclosure_search/

Contact Des Moines Foreclosure Expert JC Walker at (515)707-8487

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog
Nov. 17, 2015

Are Low Ball Offers Working In Des Moines

 

We get that sometimes it's fun to play the role of the buyer and roll the dice and hope for the best. However rolling the dice could mean upsetting that person who holds the key to your future. Oh & those house key's you won't get if you get too crazy.

Sometimes it's not a bad idea to take your Realtor's advice and write an offer that's close to the asking price or maybe even full price if you know there are other interested parties. As much as I love my job it can still be frustrating watching future home owners tap dance on their own dreams by not being wise when it comes to the initial offer. All I'm saying is there is nothing wrong with paying what someone is asking for their home. In many cases they have it priced right and maybe even under market value to get it sold.

Below you will find stats telling you what many central Iowa homes sold for vs what they were asking by percent. So basically the close price to list price ratio. These are from sales since the beginning of October of this year.

 

Des Moines MLS Stats

Des Moines MLS Stats

If you look at the numbers they tell you one thing. An average 98.5% Close To List Price Ratio is pretty good. Maybe your Realtor wasn't blowing smoke after all and had your back the whole time. So don't mess around and take a chance losing that home you love because you wanted to squeeze a few more bucks out that seller. 

JC Walker
(515)707-8487
Keller Williams Realty 
West Des Moines, IA 50266

 

 

 

Posted in Moving Iowa Blog