Kim Nathanson

REALTOR

My Blog

What Do You Mean I Don’t Get My Keys At Closing?

2/26/2015

What Do You Mean I Don’t Get My Keys At Closing?

It’s true.  In Arizona, you will rarely get the keys to your new home at the closing table.  Despite the fact that you wired in the balance of your down payment funds or marched a cashier’s check into the title company on what you thought was the penultimate day, the home is not yet yours.  You see, unlike other parts of the country where all parties congregate around the closing table to officially finalize the escrow process, there are still a few remnants of hanging fire that must be doused before your new home is officially, well,  your new home.

If you relocated from back East, you may be surprised to find the title officer and your agent (hopefully he/she is in attendance) as your only companions at signing.  Buyers and sellers typically have separate signing appointments, so if your loan documents arrived at the title company three full days prior to the scheduled closing date, as stipulated in the boiler plate of the standard Arizona Association of Realtors contract, you might actually execute your portion of the documents before the seller does.  Until both parties sign their respective closing docs, the property cannot be transferred.  Even if the seller has signed off prior to your appointment, however, there are a few additional factors that preclude you from taking immediate possession of the property.

The closing appointment at which the buyer signs the loan documents is not technically the “closing” because of a few missing components.  Most important among them are the funds from the lender.  While you may have already brought in the balance of the funds required of you (down payment and closing costs), most lenders do not release their funds until they receive and review the loan documents that you sign at your closing appointment.  Some lenders will “table fund,” meaning they will release the wire to the title company without review of the documents, but that is atypical.  Needless to say, until the money from your lender hits the title company’s coffers, the moving truck you have scheduled is going to have to keep circling the block.  From the time of your signing, it will usually take 24-48 hours for the lender to fund the loan.  This, of course, assumes that there are no problems or discrepancies found in their review of the signed documents.

Okay, so you signed your documents, wired in your down payment and just learned that the lender has funded your loan on the scheduled day of closing.  Woohoo!  The house is finally yours!  Now where’s that key?  Not so fast.  Even though it is tantamount to a rubber stamp, the title company still has to submit the deed to the county for recording.  This is an automated process these days and is done en masse, but the home is not yours until we receive confirmation that the deed has been recorded.  It is then, several days after you signed the paperwork and deposited your money that your Realtor shows up with your keys and a thousand watt smile.

The thing to keep in mind when considering the logistics involved in closing is that you will have nothing to do on the actual close of escrow date.  The signing of documents and deposit of monies, if handled correctly, will be done in advance.  Keep this in mind when discussing closing dates with your agent as part of the initial negotiation, as miscommunication (we agents sometimes forget that people don’t understand all of the minutia involved in the sale of property) might lead you to take the wrong day off work or schedule the movers incorrectly.  Plan on being physically available two to three days prior to the agreed upon closing date (as it is stated in the contract) to do your part.  Some people schedule the movers for the closing date, but this is a mistake.  Because the home is not yours until it records, and there is no way to know whether it will record at 9 in the morning or 5 at night, you will save yourself a lot of potential misery by scheduling the truck a day or two later.  With the recent delays that have been caused in many transactions by various, and dare I say, draconian changes within the lending industry, a little buffer is advisable.

 

Thanks to:   Paul Slaybaugh

 

No Matter What the Groundhog Says… You Should Sell Before Spring!

2/2/2015

No Matter What the Groundhog Says… You Should Sell Before Spring!

No Matter What The Groundhog Says... You Should Sell Before Spring! | Keeping Current Matters

Is spring closer than we think? Depending on which Groundhog you witnessed today, you may have less time than you think to get your home on the market before the busy spring season.

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages.

Here are five reasons to sell now.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are currently more prospective purchasers looking at homes than at any other time in the last 12 months, which includes last spring’s buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply just dropped to 4.4 months, which is under the 6 months’ supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will increase in the spring. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. There is less overall business done in the winter. Therefore, the process will be less onerous than it will be in the spring. Getting your house sold and closed before the spring delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 23.5% from now to 2019. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate below 4% right now. Rates are projected to be a full point higher by the end of 2015.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

   

8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

12/3/2014

8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

buying a house

 

Summer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.

Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate agent.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or incentive so sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures or replace your carpet; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.

 

 

 

Ann Miller

Now IS A Great Time To Sell Your Home

11/21/2014

Proof that NOW is a Good Time to Sell

Proof that NOW is a Good Time to Sell | Keeping Current Matters

Most homeowners believe that the winter is not a good time to sell. This belief is based on the fact that historically the number of buyers decreases in the winter and then increases dramatically during the spring buying market. Though this is still true, there is an interesting pattern developing over the last few months.

The number of prospective purchasers actively looking at a home (foot traffic) has remained strong going into the fall. As a matter of fact, the foot traffic far exceeds the numbers reported for the same months last year (see chart):

Foot Traffic Still High

At the same time, the National Association of Realtors revealed that the months’ supply of housing inventory has decreased from 5.5 months to 5.3. That equates to less competition for homeowners selling today as compared to next spring when many homeowners will decide to put their home on the market.

Bottom Line

Since buying activity is still strong, this might be a great time to put your house on the market.

 

5 Reasons to Sell Before Winter

9/30/2014

People across the country are beginning to think about what their life will look like next year. It happens every Fall. We ponder whether we should relocate to a different part of the country to find better year round weather or perhaps move across the state for better job opportunities. Homeowners in this situation must consider whether they should sell their house now or wait. If you are one of these potential sellers, here are five important reasons to do it now versus the dead of winter.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people out actually physically looking at home right now. The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market. These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now!

As we get later into the year, many people have other things (weather, holidays, etc.) that distract them from searching for a home. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing supply is still under the historical number of 6 months’ supply. This means that, in many markets, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market in the near future.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A recent study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will continue to increase over the next few months. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2014 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. Any delay in the process is always prolonged during the winter holiday season. Getting your house sold and closed before those delays begin will lend itself to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 19% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with an interest rate in the low 4’s right now. Rates are projected to be over 5% by this time next year.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

 

KCM Crew

Monsoon Rain and Leaking Roofs

9/9/2014

Monsoons bring dust storms and rain.  We have seen a lot of rain this monsoon season and with rain comes the time when you find out if you have a leaking roof.  

Try this technique if you see a bubble forming on your walls.

Have a leaking roof? Try the Pencil Trick

How a simple pencil can save you thousands in a flood

Wondering About The Housing Market?

8/25/2014

A ‘Soft’ Housing Market? We Beg to Differ! | Keeping Current Matters 

There are some pundits lamenting the softness of the 2014 housing market. We can’t understand why. Though it is true that the early part of the year disappointed because of a myriad of reasons (ex. weather, lack of inventory, less distressed sales), the recent housing news is extremely encouraging. Let’s give some examples: 

Spring Home Buying Season is Healthiest in 3 Years

Move, Inc. just last week revealed that this spring’s housing market finished stronger than any time in the last three years. In the report, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist forrealtor.com explained:

"This is the first time, since the beginning of the recovery that we expect to see positive momentum throughout the second half of the year. While seasonal patterns are emerging in July month-to-month comparisons, all other metrics point to fundamental market health and a build-up of momentum."

Existing Home Sales are Up

In their latest Existing Home Sales Report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced existing-home sales increased in July to their highest annual pace of the year. That is even though distressed property sales fell to 9%, the first time they were in the single-digits since NAR started tracking the category in October 2008. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR explained:

“The number of houses for sale is higher than a year ago and tamer price increases are giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market. More people are buying homes compared to earlier in the year and this trend should continue.”

New Construction Surging

According to an article on Market Watch, new constructing is surging:

“Construction on new U.S. homes jumped 15.7% in July to the highest level in eight months and starts were revised up sharply for June, indicating a pickup in home building after an early-year lull. Housing starts climbed to an annual rate of 1.09 million last month…Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected starts to climb to a seasonally adjusted 975,000 in July.”

Foot Traffic at Year High Numbers

Foot traffic (the number of people out actually physically looking at homes) has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future. 

The latest foot traffic numbers show that there are more prospective purchasers currently looking at homes than at any other time in the last twelve months which includes the latest spring buyers’ market

Bottom Line

The spring market finished stronger than any time in the last three years. Home sales are at year long highs. New construction is beating estimates. There are more buyers out than at any time in the last twelve months. 

We think the housing market is doing just fine.

 

10 Things To Do BEFORE Putting Your House On The Market

6/9/2014

Thinking of selling your home?  Here are 10 easy steps to get your home prepared to sell.

 

1. Get rid of any extra furniture- This means that any furniture that doesn’t serve a real, functional purpose needs to go. It can be sold, or just in storage, but it needs to get out of the house. You want as much of your space shown as you can.

2. Put toys away- Before taking any listing photos or showing your house, hide the toys! Unless there is a designated area used as a playroom, toys need to be hidden. Buyers want the spaces they are looking at to feel fresh, clean, and grown up.

3. Open doors- Be sure to open all of your interior doors before taking photos and showing your house. In photos, it helps the photos flow together so that the potential buyers can understand the layout of the home more easily. When showing, you don’t want any big surprises. The potential buyers need to be able to easily walk from one room to the next.

4. Turn on lights- When showing your home, turn on all of the lights before you leave. This is especially the case if your house has light switches in strange places. The last thing you want the potential buyers to do, is search for your light switches. By having the lights on, it makes the home feel brighter and more cozy.

5. Good smells- The smell of your home will be one of the very first things that the potential buyers register in their brains when looking at your home. Be sure it is a good smell! I like to leave all of my Scentsy warmers on. I put the scent Welcome Home in them.

SB-WHM

6. Take good photos- Chances are, the first impression of your house will be by the photos that potential buyers will see on your listing. Make sure they are good! There are so many times I see pictures that have awkward angles that make the rooms look much smaller than they are. There are also several listing photos out there with clutter all over the place! Potential buyers want to look at photos of a clean house. Pay attention to detail when taking photos.

7. Fix up the curb appeal- This doesn’t mean that your front yard needs an entire makeover, but make sure that it looks warm and inviting. Plant some flowers, fix your fence, and mow your lawn. It is the little things that really make a difference.

8. Clear off counter tops- Nobody wants to look at clutter. Put your bread and bananas in the cupboard before your house is shown. You want potential buyers to feel like there is plenty of counter space. While you are at it, take down the cutter off of your fridge to make your kitchen feel fresh and clean.

9. Clean doors- You don’t realize just how dirty your doors are until you start scrubbing them down! Clean the doorknobs to make sure they aren’t sticky and make sure there aren’t dirty fingerprints all over the door. It is a small detail that most people won’t notice unless they are dirty most likely. You don’t want potential buyers to notice dirty doors.

10. Clean your windows- There is so much dirt, dust, and who knows what else that gets stuck to windows. Clean them inside and out. It is amazing to see how much more light comes through when the windows are clean. It makes the entire room feel cleaner too. 

 

girllovesglam.com

Create Wealth: Move Up Now!! | Keeping Current Matters

5/29/2014

Create Wealth: Move Up Now!! | The KCM Crew

Many experts are currently discussing a variety of topics such as real estate as an investment, the movement on mortgage interest rates and reasons to buy now instead of waiting. It is important that we realize that this does not apply solely to the first time home buyer.

The opportunity that exists in real estate today is there for everyone.

However, the family that already owns a home might be thinking that, if they wait, their home could be worth more next year than it is now. And that may cause them to delay moving up to the home of their dreams thinking it makes good financial sense. Actually, the opposite is true. This is the best chance a family has to buy up into the home that makes sense for their family right now.

We must realize that whatever percentage of value we gain on our house will also be gained on our dream home.

Let’s assume your current home is worth $500,000. Your house will be worth $520,000 next year if prices rise by 4% over that time (a number projected by the Home Price Expectation Survey).

However, the $750,000 home you are hoping to move into will also appreciate by about that same 4%. That means next year it will be valued at $780,000. You wouldn’t make $20,000 by waiting. You would actually be losing $10,000 ($30,000 - $20,000).

And, you will pay a lower interest rate on the mortgage than you probably will next year.

Plug in the numbers that apply to your house and the home you are longing to buy and see what the bottom line turns out to be for you.

That is how wealth is built in this country - by purchasing real estate at the right time, at the right price and at the right terms.

Go out and find your family's dream house and buy it! Ten years from now, you will be glad you did!

 

 

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