Predicting what it will cost to buy a house is very important for home buyers. The two biggest concerns home buyers have is what are the monthly payments and what is the down payment. Down payments can be tricky. Depending on your credit, any programs that you may qualify for, and down payment assistant programs, your best bet is to talk to a loan officer. (I have a list of loan officers that have been involved in my transactions and that I trust. Just ask me to send it to you.) As to the monthly payments, that can be estimated by a Realtor using calculator apps. My favorite one is Karl’s Mortgage Calculator.
By knowing the price of the house, property taxes, insurance costs, and the mortgage interest rate, you can estimate what your payments will be.
Some of the other nice features of the calculator are showing a table of what the balance of the loan will be every year.
It will also allow you to add-in homeowners association costs, show you what you will owe with principal prepayments and will show you what you can afford to buy with a given monthly payment.
As a Realtor, I find this tool to be very helpful for working with home buyers. It can be found on Google Play and Apple’s app store.
Yesterday was the Realtor Breakfast at Pike High School. I had attended several over the past years. It is a time when Realtors can become familiar with what Pike schools have to offer, which by the way, is amazing.
The Red Zone Cafe
This year it was held in the Red Zone Café which is a small restaurant run by students in the high school. The Café is a student learning program that provides a Culinary & Hospitality experience.
Superintendent Dr. Flora J. Reichanadter and high school principle Troy Inman spoke about all the things going on in the school system
I am somewhat familiar with Pike Schools because my son attended and graduated there in 1999. What I am always intrigued about is their STEM programs.
From a flyer that was passed out to Realtors;
Pike students have the opportunity to start their journey toward successful careers through a state-of-the-art Pike Career & STEM Center located at Pike High School. Programs that are offered include Cosmetology & Barbering, Culinary Arts, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medical Services, Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Health Sciences. Students will have the opportunity to receive college dual credit and acquire skills from experienced faculty. Students may also earn up to three high school credits per semester in selected courses that will apply towards their high school diploma. Work-based experiences apply to most programs.
After breakfast and updates from Superintendent Dr. Flora and Principle Inman, we were taken on a tour of the building.
What impressed me the most was the hands-on experience that the students get in STEM classrooms. I was fascinated by the HVAC classroom where students were all learning how these systems work and how to repair them. The classroom had actual furnaces and air conditioning condensers lined up against the back wall that were used to instruct the students.
The computer classes allowed the students to learn how to write computer programs and apps to go along with them. In one classroom we saw students working on the different parts of computers. We were told that when in school computers need repair, they can be brought to the classroom for repair. They will also repair computers from the community if brought in.
Want a haircut? You can get one at a very reasonable price from the Cosmetology & Barbering class.
We also got to see the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) class, the Emergency Medical Services class, the media center, and the swimming pool.
When the tour groups interrupted the classes, the students were very disciplined and well behaved.
It seems that schools today must entertain students and train them for future endeavors.
Today’s high school classes are nothing like what my high school was like. Students can get vocational training and go right into a good-paying job.
Links to Website and Materials
Pike Township Schools Website
#PikeProud Newsletter – Week of 9-23-19
Pike Career and Stem Center_Program
2019 Profile of Excellence – MSD Pike Township
Career Center Advisory Board
Contacts and IDOE Data
Cosmetology-Barbering Service Menu
The Red Zone Cafe Menu 2019
1. Give your entry a new look. Did you know that houses with black front doors can sell for more money?
2. A well-groomed yard shows buyers that the home was taken care of.
3. Make sure all windows have been cleaned.
4. Clean out your garage. A clean garage will give the impression of more space.
5. Depending on the season, plant flowers.
6. Remove any lawn ornament that you will want to bring with you to your new home.
7. Greet buyers at the front door with a new welcome mat.
8. Make sure the street numbers on the house are visible. Paint or replace it if in bad shape.
9. Make sure all exterior lights are in working order
10. Power wash any outdoor surfaces to give them a ‘like new’ feel.
• 10 Tips to Make Your House Feel Like Home to Buyers
1. Get rid of distractions. A clean home will allow buyers to picture themselves in the space.
2. Make sure every room has a purpose. Giving it an identity will help buyers.
3. Open all curtains and let the light in. Bright rooms feel warm and inviting. Dark rooms feel small and gloomy.
4. Make sure no oblivious repairs are needed. If needed repairs are found, this gives buyers a reason to discount the offered price of the house.
5. Get rid of the clutter. Clean out closets, bathrooms, pantries and kitchen counters and drawers. This gives the impression of more space.
6. The top two things you can do to improve the salability of your house are new carpet and fresh paint. This will help sell your house faster and for more money.
7. Organize the kitchen. It is best to have nothing on the counters than to have them full of small appliances. Clean all countertops.
8. Make sure you empty all trash containers and hide any dirty laundry.
9. Make sure all doors and windows open and close smoothly. Fix any squeaks with lubricant.
10. Make sure all lights and switches work.
The top goal when listing your house for sale is getting the best possible price. These small projects above can help you meet that goal.
1. Concentrate on curb appeal – When a potential buyer drives by your house, you want it to be remembered. Make sure the lawn is cut, bushes are trimmed, and weeds are pulled, plant flowers if possible, and make your entryway warm and welcoming.
2. Be extremely flexible with showings – It’s not unusual in this market to have requests for multiple showings (and offers) in rapid succession. Once a property hits the market, people want to see it quickly. Flexibility and trusting your agent to have your best interests at heart are vital.
3. WOW, factor – Fresh flowers, gleaming windows, clean scents, soft jazz music in the background and well-staged touches are important to creating an enticing showcase of a home.
4. Inside temperature – Make sure during the summer that the air is on and circulating well. During the winter months, make sure the buyers feel the heat as they enter the house. A comfortable temperature will keep potential buyers viewing the home longer.
5. Price it right – While it is a seller’s market, overpricing right out of the chute will cause your home to sit on the market. Price it right and you could have the opposite reaction: multiple offers and bidding wars.
There are many ways to get your home sold today for top dollar and few if any, headaches. That’s were relying on a trusted professional comes in handy. I can make sure it is priced and photographed properly to make it stand out from the competition.
A comparable market analysis is sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece represents a different market element that needs to be considered in determining the fair market value of a property. Done properly, all the pieces of the puzzle should give you a picture of a reasonable, quantifiable fair market value.
Typically, I go through the following steps;
1. Find out everything I can about the property. At a minimum;
• Location (street, neighborhood, municipality, county)
• Total square footage
• Number of bedrooms and baths
• Basement yes/no
• Year built
• Recent renovations
• Interior finishes of note
• Any extraordinary features (swimming pool, pole barn, deck, etc.)
Retrieve the Property tax record for the property.
This tells me who the owner (decision maker) is, what the assessed value is (value the property taxes are based on), what the property taxes are (higher property taxes could lower the appeal of the house), square footage, if there is a recorded mortgage and for how much, and how long the owner has owned it.
Gather previous sale information for the property on MIBOR’s Broker Listing Cooperative.
This can be incredibly helpful. It shows what information the previous Realtor collected in order to list the property. This can be the room sizes, updates to property, amenities, how many days it was on the market and what it sold for. Days on the market are important because it tells me if the property was priced right. I can then compare it to the average days on market for all the other houses in the neighborhood that were sold around that time. If it sold extremely quickly, that might tell me that it was priced to low.
The price it was listed and sold for is also relevant. It gives me a starting point based on market conditions. If the property sold three years ago, and the general price of homes in the neighborhood has risen 5% in the past three years, the previously sold price and the general movement of the market can be combined and become a huge clue as to what the current market value is. Most helpful are pictures of the property. Seeing interior pictures of the house from past sales helps me see the design of the house, which helps me determine how to market the house in the future if I list it.
Search the Broker Listing Cooperative for houses that were sold in the past 6 months, in the neighborhood, like the subject property.
I am looking for apples to apples comparison. I look for the type of house (one story or two), bedrooms and baths and square footage to begin with. Normally houses that are built in the same neighborhood are built within a couple of years of each other so the age of the house is not very important. Looking for like conditions is important. You can usually tell by the pictures. Same with the updates. If I can’t find any comparables in the neighborhood, then I would have to extend my search. I could also go back 12 months but the market might be different at that time. If I extend my search outside the neighborhood, age of house becomes important. If my subject property was built in 1995, then I want to look for comparables in the 1990 to 2000 range.
Going outside that range become problematic. Builders tend to follow what the market wants. What the market wanted 10 years ago is not the same today. Also, styles change. In the end, I want at least 3 comparables. If I can’t find them, then I have to use what is the closest and make adjustments in price to the comparables. Lastly, I look at the following;
• What is actively on the market in the neighborhood, how it is priced and how long has it been for sale.
• Same goes for pending sales in the neighborhood.
What is happening in and around the neighborhood?
This can affect the neighbor as a whole. Are low rent apartments going in next to the neighborhood? Is there going to be a strip center one block away? Is there going to be highway construction going on during the listing period? How far away are the bus stops? Does the neighborhood have a good reputation? Does the homeowners association have an active Board of Directors? All of the above can affect the sale one way or another.
Lastly, key the address into Google and see what you get.
You may be surprised.
There are two different types of comparable market analysis. One is where I do not tour the interior of the house. I only come up with a value based on my research. Generally, I would give a high/low range value. If I can tour the house, I can give a precise value.
A COMPARABLE MARKET ANALYSIS IS NOT AN APPRAISAL. An appraisal has to be done by a licensed appraiser. There are very few Realtors that have an appraisal license. Realtors do a comparable market analysis for free. Appraisers charge close to $500 and usually work for banks but can work for a seller. Can a Realtor and an appraiser come up with different values? Yes. Two Realtors or two appraisers can come up with different values. It is not a science. It is an art form.
Want to know what your house is worth on the market today? Contact me…
I was curious as to how much home prices were increasing between last year and this year, year to date. Since average prices can be thrown off by heavy or lightweight pricing, I used the median pricing approach.
The median price is the middle point for real estate prices. It is not the same as the average price. The median price is the price in the very middle of a data set, with exactly half of the houses priced for less and half-priced for more.
The median price for all the houses sold in Pike last year was $145,000. This year, year to date is $160,000. That is a 10.34 percent increase.
What happens when you break it down into 4 different price tiers? The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and 100% of the median (low-to-middle price), homes priced between 100% and 125% of the median (middle-to-moderate price) and homes priced greater than 125% of the median (high Price). The number of houses sold is in parentheses.
|Low – $0 to $108,750(288)||Low – $0 to $120,000(190)|
|Low to Middle – $108,751 to $145,000(314)||Low to Middle – $120,001 to $160,000(241)|
|Middle to Moderate – $145,001 to $181,250(268)||Middle to Moderate – $160,001 to $200,000(173)|
|High Price – $181,251+(317)||High Price – $200,001+(189)|
Now if I take the median price of each tier and compare 2018 to 2019YTD I get the following;
Interesting, I would have thought that the biggest increases would have been in the middle tiers. Turns out that the low tier and high tier had the biggest increases.
1. Focus on curb appeal. Keep your lawn in tip-top shape by watering and mowing regularly. Trim the bushes, plant flowers that are summer-heat tolerant, get rid of the weeds, and make your entryway warm and welcoming.
2. Have flexible showing hours. It’s not unusual in this market to have requests for multiple showings (and offers) in rapid succession. Once a property hits the market, people want to see it quickly. Flexibility and trusting your agent to have your best interests at heart are vital.
3. Deliver pizazz. Fresh flowers, gleaming windows, clean scents, soft jazz music in the background and well-staged touches are important to creating an enticing showcase of a home.
4. Keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. No one wants to walk into a house they are considering buying and be uncomfortable. The more comfortable the buyer is, the more likely they will consider the home longer.
5. Price it right. While it is a seller’s market, overpricing right out of the chute will cause your home to sit on the market. Price it right, and you could have the opposite reaction: multiple offers and bidding wars.
There are many ways to get your home sold today for top dollar and few if any, headaches. That’s where relying on a trusted professional comes in handy. I can make sure it is staged, priced and photographed properly to make it stand out from the competition.
Want to learn more about getting the most from your home investment? Call or text me today. I’m here to help.