Posts Tagged ‘buy a home’

The Real Estate Market in Harrisburg PA: The New Normal…

The Real Estate Market in Harrisburg PA: The New Normal…

 

The real estate market conditions in the greater Harrisburg – Hershey area have been a bit confusing over the past six months. Depending on the day, you may see one report that shows the market going up and another that shows the market is heading down. I can imagine you are sitting back wishing we could all get our stories to line up together.

I want to share some important information about the real estate market that I think is misunderstood by the consumer as well as the real estate agents themselves.

Let me start off with some basic facts:

– The market remains to be very active

– Real Estate prices have stabilized

– Average Days on Market is still reasonable

Additional information you will find interesting:

– We have seen a “steady” trend in the amount of monthly sales transactions over the last 6 months. Values are not increasing to speak of; yet they are no longer decreasing.

– We have seen interest rates increase slightly on people with less than perfect credit.

– We are seeing a slow-down in new construction sales

– We are noticing builder discounts and incentives being advertised to get rid of standing inventory.
So, what is really happening in our market?

This is the question that everyone is asking yet very few people want to answer. The answer is not a simple statement. The answer requires a much longer explanation than you would care to read in this email. I have answered these questions dozens of times for my clients and I am happy to answer your questions as well. I can share in detail what I see and why this may be the ‘New Normal’.

 

If there is anything else that I can do for you, please let me know. I will continue to be your South Central PA Real Estate Resource. I know you have the choice to work with thousands of real estate agents yet I am the ONE Agent that is trying to keep you informed about your business. Let me know what I can do help you.

 

Your Agent Today, Your Agent for Life…

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA – Why Days on Market Matters

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA –  Why Days on Market Matters

 

One of the first questions buyers ask me when considering how to buy a house, occurs when I hold an open house. They want to know its days on market. One of the first things a buyer asks about a listing is its days on market. Days on market matter when you’re on the hunt to learn how to buy a house.

How to Buy a House – Do Average Days on Market Matter?

Which is more important? The “average days” on market or the “number of days” on market of each listing? If you’re a buyer, of course, it’s the home you want to buy that matters when thinking about how to buy a house.  If you’re a seller whose home has been on the market for 60 days, you want to know how long it is taking homes like yours to sell.

How to Buy a House – How Buyers Look at Days on Market

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When buyers see extensive days on market, they figure the seller is desperate to sell because the home is still on the market. Buyers also believe there might be something wrong with the home that caused other buyers to pass it up. Both of those assumptions, however, can be wrong.

How to Buy a House – Homes can Linger on the Market for the following Reasons:

  • The common reason is overpricing.
    The agent may have “bought” the listing by misleading the seller into believing the home was worth more than the market will bear. It’s not unusual for an agent to deliberately take an overpriced listing.
  • Little seller motivation.
    Sometimes sellers want to “test the market” by pricing too high, just to see if they can find a fool to pay that price. It’s known as a seller’s worst mistake.
  • Stubbornness.
    Sellers could be stuck on the price and willing to wait out the market until the market catches up to the asking price.
  • Down real estate market.
    In buyer’s markets, it can take longer to sell a home than in seller’s markets. A home that would sell in five days in a seller’s market might sell in 120+ days in a down real estate market.
  • Unavailable to show.
    If the property is tenant occupied, it might be difficult to obtain an appointment from the tenant. In most cases, homes with a lockbox get shown more often than those without.
  • Unsuitable to show.
    Sometimes sellers put homes on the market before they are ready to let buyers see it. They might be finishing resale repairs or painting during the first 30 to 60 days of a listing.
  • Reduced commission.
    Although buying agents are required to show all listings, many agents refuse to show homes that don’t pay the same commission as competing homes. Often these homes are listed by discount brokers.
  • Little Internet or MLS exposure.
    If the home has one photograph in MLS, buyers are likely to pass on the listing and instead choose homes to see that have multiple photographs.

How to Buy a House – Finding Out the Cumulative Days on Market

Some MLS systems refuse to let agents withdraw a listing and enter it as a new listing without first canceling or expiring the listing. In either case, it is relatively easy for an agent to determine the number of days on market; it’s not so easy for a buyer.

  • Check Listing History.
    One way is to enter the address of the property into MLS to find duplicate, expired or withdrawn listings. In the Sacramento MLS, this is known as pulling the “history” of the property.
  • Look for Cumulative DOM.
    Some MLS have changed the way listings are reported and will include cumulative days on market in the listing itself.
  • Ask Your Agent.
    If you are working with a neighborhood specialist, your agent will have a fairly good idea if the home has been listed before, for how long and by whom.
  • Ask the Listing Agent.
    Since real estate agents cannot misrepresent a property, you might ask the listing agent a direct question. Do not ask how long the home has been on the market because there might have been a price reduction, so the agent will feel justified in telling you the days on market at the new price. Ask if it has expired / withdrawn / canceled and then relisted. Be specific.
  • Search Online.
    Enter the property address several different ways into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. All of its previous online listings should pop up.
  • Ask Neighbors.
    Neighbors know everything that goes on in their area and often are more than happy to tell you how long a home has been on the market.

 

When thinking about how to buy a house, buyers figure the longer a home has been on the market, the more eager a seller is to sell. If the seller is eager to sell, the seller might be willing to negotiate a much lower price. So, you can see how this piece of knowledge is useful to buyers.

 

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793                       Email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

Presented by KensHomesales.com

 

 

 

 

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA- Step 7 – Home Purchase Negotiation

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA  – Step 7 –

Home Purchase Negotiation  

When considering how to buy a house, here are ten important questions you should ask and why you should ask them.

 

 

How to Buy a House - Home Purchase Negotiation

 

Property Specific Considerations in How to Buy a House:

1. HOW LONG HAS THE PROPERTY BEEN ON THE MARKET?

Why: The length of time a property has been on the market may indicate the seller’s willingness to negotiate.

2. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PRICE REDUCTIONS DURING THE LISTING   PERIOD?

Why: The amount of any price reduction, as it relates to the overall purchase price, may indicate the seller’s desire to attract an offer.

3. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY OTHER OFFERS ON THE PROPERTY?

Why: It will be helpful to know what offers have been turned down and for what reasons.

4. WHAT IS THE MOTIVATION OF THE SELLER?

Why: Motivation is a key element in any negotiation. As an example, if the seller has already purchased a new property, your ability to close quickly may be an attractive element of the negotiation.

5. WHAT PERSONAL ITEMS ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE?

Why: Anything the seller is willing to leave behind that you won’t need to buy when you move in has real value. Consider those items in your offer

.

 

Neighborhood Specific considerations in how to buy a house:

1. WHAT IS THE PRICE RANGE OF SOLD PROPERTIES IN THE AREA?

Why: This information is important since it will indicate the top and bottom of that specific market.

2. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE TIME ON THE MARKET FOR PROPERTIES IN THIS AREA?

Why: Short market times may indicate a seller’s market. If this is the case, you may face competition from other buyers.

3. WHAT IS THE LIST-TO-SALE PRICE RATIO IN THIS AREA?

Why: This information will indicate sellers’ past willingness to negotiate and by how much.

4. WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT OF RECENTLY SOLD PROPERTIES?

Why: This approach to establish value works best where there are similar homes, lot sizes and improvements.

5. WHAT OTHER FACTORS ABOUT THE PROPERTY and/or  NEIGHBORHOOD COULD AFFECT VALUE?

 Why: The Sellers Disclosure must be reviewed to determine if there are items that could affect value before thinking of how to buy a house.

Final Recommendation for how to buy a house – home purchase negotiation: Determing your offer price when learning how to buy a house is a crucial detail. Each of these factors can suggest how much you want to spend for a particular property. How much is this house worth to you? Review the Seller’s Disclosure Statement very carefully. If you will be financing the property, get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to making your offer. This will show the seller your commitment and ability to perform. Once we know what other homes have sold for in the area, and the intricate details of the home, I will advise you on where to beging our negotiations for you to buy a house. Call me to be personally represented in your home purchase. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

How to Buy a House – Step 6 – Planning For Home Maintenance Costs

How to Buy a House – Step 6 – Planning For Home Maintenance Costs   You don’t think about future maintenance costs when considering how to buy a house, but you should. Whether buying an older home or a newly constructed home, equipment can be faulty and costly to repair.

When learning how to buy a house, usually a home’s purchase price can be used to project maintenance costs. The recommendations for annual maintenance costs range from 1.5 to 4 percent of the home’s original cost. While this is not always true, especially when the purchase price of a home is three-quarters of a million dollars, it is a good rule of thumb for the average home buyer when contemplating how to buy a house

How to Buy a House - Home Maintenance Costs

 

Since most home buyers are focusing on making the down payment and not saving for future repairs, a home warranty provides a good back-up plan when keepin your checklist on how to buy a house.

 

A Home Warranty will cover many major home systems and built-in appliances for one full year after closing. A home warranty will pay to either repair or replace a covered item, and the homeowner pays a minimal deductible rather than the full cost of repairs. It’s an easy way to manage your home’s finances and plan for those unexpected repairs.

 

To learn more about managing home maintenance costs and how to buy a house, contact me at 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

What Every First Time Home Buyer in Harrisburg PA Should Know

What Every First Time Home Buyer in Harrisburg PA Should Know  Buying a home is one of the largest financial commitments a person can make in his or her lifetime. It’s especially critical for first-time home buyers to make informed decisions about the investment that they are about to make.

 

As a Real Estate Professional I offer these tips to first-time homebuyers to help make the process easier.

 

Define your wants versus your needs.

Making a list of wants and needs before beginning the search for a home can make the entire process less overwhelming and more enjoyable for first time buyers.

 

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

It is critical that a first time buyer be pre-approved for a mortgage before going too far in the home-buying process. This enables the buyer to make a very appealing offer to the seller and increases the buyer’s chances of having his or her offer accepted.

First Time Home Buyers on Moving Day

 

Investigate the neighborhood.

Where are the schools? How far is the nearest hospital or grocery store? Is commercial garbage collection available, or do homeowners dispose of their own trash? These are basic yet important questions that some first time buyers may not think of until after closing on a property.

 

Insist on a home inspection.

Attend property inspections. Be aware of environmental concerns, and ask questions.

 

Get help with the details.

Coordinating these and the many details of a move can be overwhelming for even the most experienced homebuyer. I can help guide you through the process and even coordinate related services. Contact me to represent you through the entire first time home buyers process. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesales.com

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by KensHomesales.com

Caught In Between Selling and Buying a Home in Harrisburg PA?

Caught In Between Selling and Buying a Home?

 

Sometimes selling a home and buying a new one can be a difficult balancing act, as a homebuyer often cannot place an offer on an attractive home and sell the current one simultaneously. These homebuyers and sellers get “caught in between.” Below are some tips on how to close that time gap between buying and selling a home.

 

Consider bridge loans. A bridge loan means borrowing from the current home’s equity until the proceeds from its sale are obtained. Some bridge loans require that only the interest be repaid; others mandate a single payment of interest and principal when the loan needs to be paid back. If protracted, bridge loans can be expensive, so it is best to use them for overlaps of a short period of time between closings.

 

Buy on contingency.Have a prior-sale contingency included in the purchase contract of the new home. It provides the opportunity to withdraw from an offer if the current home does not sell by a certain date.

 

Evaluate whether to buy or sell first.You might still get “caught in between” even with a prior-sale contingency clause. Homeowners must consider which is better to do first. In a “seller’s market,” locating the new home and starting the buying process may be the best approach. It is important to note that most people need to sell their current home in order to qualify for a loan to buy the next one, which is often more expensive.

 

Review home equity options.For those who need to borrow for a longer period than just a few months, it is best to use a home equity loan or a fixed-rate line of credit, particularly if sizable equity has been built up.

Contact me now to help you bridge the gap. 717 514-1793 or Ken@KensHomesles.com

 

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

 

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  He is a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

 

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com

presented by http://www.KensHomesales.com

 

 

Buyer Resources for Buying a House in Harrisburg PA

Buyer Resources for Buying a House in Harrisburg PA

The home buying process is exciting, but serious enough to deserve special attention and preparation. There is more to it than searching for the right home. For buying a house, you’ll need to consider neighborhoods, schools, market values, the condition of the home, various inspections, your mortgage, title insurance, property insurance, and of course closing. Even experienced buyers can find this complex process a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry. I’m here to help. I will guide you every step of the way. You can use this site to help educate yourself on the process of buying a house. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about buying a house. I’m happy to help you.

 

 

Is this a good time for buying a house?

YES! It is an excellent time to purchase your next home. Interest rates are at historical lows giving you more purchasing power. Due to increased cost of land development and home construction, prices are lower today than what they will be tomorrow. If you are looking to purchase a home, you may have an opportunity to purchase more home for the money if you act now. For example, if home values increase 5% over the next year, a $100,000 house will be $105,000, a $300,000 home will now be $315,000. Plus, interest rates could be higher which would increase your mortgage payments even more. It’s also a good time to sell. There are ample buyers to purchase homes that are priced correctly, staged appropriately, and properly marketed. I can help guide you through the home buying and home selling process.

 

What is a buyer’s agent and why do I need one for buying a house?

A buyer’s agent is a licensed Realtor whose loyalty and fiduciary responsibility is to the buyer. A buyer’s agent can more fully advise buyers in all areas of the home buying process including proper handling of contract negotiations. As your buyer’s agent I will:

  • Explain steps and costs in advance
  • Guide you – so you’re prepared
  • Conduct home searches for you
  • Show you available homes
  • Advise you about market conditions, pricing, and financing
  • Represent you in negotiations with Sellers, Lenders, Appraisers,
    Inspectors, Insurers, etc.
  • Manage your transaction – Mortgage, Insurances, Inspections,
    Repairs, Warranties, dozens of other details
  • Accompany you at final inspection and closing

If you’re not a represented buyer, by law, a Realtor can’t advocate for you. Contact me at n717 514-1793 and we will review Pennsylvania’s Consumer Notice which explains the ways a real estate agent can represent you.


Should I get pre-approved for a mortgage before buying a house?

It’s certainly a good idea. You can apply for either pre-qualification or a pre-approval. A pre-qualification is an informal opinion from a lender. A pre-approval is a more formal written approval for you stating that you qualify for up to a specific mortgage and interest rate. A pre-approval requires more data from you but offers the following benefits:

  • Sellers will look at you as a stronger buyer. If the seller has more than one offer, this could help yours be more attractive.
  • You have a definite picture of what you can reasonably afford. You won’t waste your time inspecting homes you can’t buy.

I can help you find a reputable lender who will provide you with a pre-qualification or pre-approval


Can I preview my credit and correct mistakes before buying a house?

ABSOLUTELY! It is surprising how many credit reports are wrong . . . over 40% by some estimates! You may avoid de-railing your transaction with a time-consuming credit hassle by reviewing the report up front. You can order a copy of your own credit report by calling the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian at (888) 397-3742, Equifax at (800) 685-1111 and Trans Union at (800) 888-4213. Or, you can call the Annual Credit Report Request Service at 1-877-322-8228 for a free credit report from all three of the above sources. Understanding a credit report can be very complicated. I can help you with this process by connecting you with a loan officer who is an expert in this area.


How do I go about buying a house,  if I have to sell my existing home first?

Most of us cannot afford two mortgage payments; we need to sell our current home before completing the purchase of our next home. In a marketplace where there is a good supply of homes for sale, it’s probably best to market your home successfully first. Then you enter the marketplace as a stronger buyer. None the less, you may find your next home prior to marketing your current home. I can help you choose from several different options in this case so that you can still have your dream home and avoid a double payment situation.


Should I have the home inspected before buying a house?

In most cases, a property is purchased in its present condition! Many buyers are surprised to find that if a problem arises after settlement, the problem is theirs. As a buyer, you should consider hiring a home inspector who is trained to look for defects. The most common types of home inspections are general house inspection, wood destroying pest and organisms (termite) inspection, radon inspection, on-site septic inspection, and on-site water inspection. When you are ready to make an offer on a home, I’ll explain the different types of inspections you may wish to have. I can recommend a home inspector if you’d like help finding someone.


Should I buy a home warranty when buying a house?

There are reasons to purchase a home warranty, and there are circumstances where a home warranty may be less important. What I can tell you is that 75% of home buyers use their home warranty within the first year. The initial term of a home warranty is one year. Thereafter, renewals can be purchased. Some sellers provide home warranties as part of the sale. Under those circumstances the home warranty is included in the sale. I can help you determine if a home warranty is a good investment for you.


How do I go about making an offer when buying a house?

You may want to make your offer subject to certain terms or contingencies, including securing financing, the sale of your current home, or inspections. I can help you understand your options and responsibilities. As a skilled negotiator, I am able to represent your best interests when speaking to the seller’s agent.


When should I get homeowner’s insurance.. before or after buying a house?

It’s important to begin looking for homeowner’s insurance as soon as the agreement of sale has been accepted. Not all insurance companies insure all types of properties. For example, some carriers won’t insure a property with a flat roof, others do. If you wait too long to find insurance and run into any difficulties, you may not be able to get insurance in time and this may negatively impact your ability to close.


What is title insurance and  do I need it when buying a house?

Imagine one of these nightmares:

  • An ex-spouse of the 3rd prior owner claims a continuing interest in your home because he/she did not sign off on the deed 10 years ago.
  • A Lender to the 2nd prior owner asserts a claim that their loan was not paid off when the property was sold 6 years ago and they want their money.

A title insurance provider seeks to discover these “defects” by searching public records about the property. They also provide you with insurance – if they missed something, they step up to handle your defense and cover your costs. Also, your lender will require that you provide title insurance from a reputable company at settlement. I can recommend a title insurance provider for you prior to buying a house.


Understand the seller’s list price before buying a house

Many factors influence the price that a seller expects to get for their home. While only you can decide how much you feel comfortable offering for a property, I can gather critical information for you regarding the factors that impact how much you should consider paying for the home. These factors include:

  • How long the home has been on the market
  • If the price has been reduced
  • The prices for other comparable homes in the area
  • If there are multiple offers being communicated
  • Other items that might be included in the sale – furniture, hot tub, etc.
  • The number of homes that are on the market and the amount of time it’s taking them to sell
  • Whether the seller is offering buyer incentives


What are closing costs when buying a house?

Closing costs are fees and expenses paid in conjunction with the purchase of your home. The amount of your closing costs will depend on your transaction and your lender. If you obtain a mortgage, the lender will collect a credit and appraisal fee and may charge you loan origination fees and document preparation fees. Should you use a low down payment, the lender may require you to pay for mortgage insurance. Your lender will require title insurance. Title insurance is based upon the sales price of the home. Your settlement company will collect notary and recording fees. If you haven’t paid your homeowner’s insurance premium prior to the closing, this will be an expense at closing. Transfer taxes can range depending on the municipality in which you are purchasing. In most of South Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania, the transfer tax is 2% of the sale price. Typically, the buyer pays half of this tax. Real estate taxes are typically pro-rated, reimbursing the seller for the taxes they have pre-paid. Depending upon the mortgage program, you may be required to start an escrow account with the lender for future taxes. In some cases, sellers have agreed to pay part or most of their buyer’s closing costs. I can help you understand these costs and can provide suggestions to reduce your closing costs. In addition to my suggestions, you will be receiving closing cost estimates when you submit your offer for buying a house, and when you apply for your mortgage. This is all done so that you know what to expect at the closing.


What happens at the closing when buying a house?

The terms “real estate settlement” and “closing” mean the same. It is the meeting where the seller conveys the ownership of the property to the buyer. A settlement officer, either a title company representative or the buyer’s attorney, will conduct the closing. Many papers need to be reviewed, signed, notarized and witnessed. Among the documents you will be asked to sign is the mortgage, the mortgage note, other lender documents, buyer’s affidavit, utility cards, etc. Once you’ve paid your down payment and closing costs and the seller has signed the deed, you will become the official owner of your new home. I’ll walk you through what to expect at settlement and answer any questions you may have.

Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch is your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate  as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40 plus years experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success.  For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!

Cell: 717 514-1793
email: mailto:Ken@KensHomesales.com