Real Estate Insider Blog

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How Do I Know An Area Is Right For Me?

It is all well and good finding your perfect home, but it is important that you think about more than the actual foundations. Yes, a home may look and feel fantastic but you need to keep in mind that you're building a life here and that will go beyond your front door.

Even if you are moving just a few miles away you need to make sure that you research the home you are interested in and make sure it's perfect. The last thing you want to do is invest in a home (financially and emotionally) and then discover it isn't what you need.


Think About the Whole Family

Think about who is going to be living there and what they'll need. Try to think about the future too because hopefully you'll be living here for a long time. So, for example if you have very young children think about facilities for them as a teenager, public transport links to and from school and even try to research age ranges of people that live nearby.

Sit down as a family and have a chat about what you'd like from an area and take it from there.

Do Your Research

The good news is that these days, doing research into an area you are interested in living in is easier than ever. There are all sorts of websites you can use to research crime rates, educational facility performance and much more. You can use this to compare between where you want to live and where you live now. If there is more than one home you are interested in then this type of information could ...

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Should I Buy or Sell During an Election Year?

Although the 2016 presidential election is still months away and we don’t yet know which candidate will represent each party, we know for certain that housing sales can decline the closer it gets to an election. This could actually be good news if you're trying to sell your home due to the law of supply and demand. When the supply is lower, it increases demand as well as selling prices. Consider this: In a 2014 study conducted at Princeton University, researchers discovered that home sales fell between two-tenths and three-tenths of a percent during gubernatorial elections in 35 states between 1999 and 2006. Although the percentage is small, the effect is comparable to other influences on the housing market such as a steady decline in per-capita income.

What Makes People More Reluctant to Buy a Home in an Election Year?

Since the Princeton University study includes only state elections, it’s safe to assume that the effect is likely to be larger when the political stakes are at the national level. One reason for the hesitation is that perspective home buyers are not sure how the outcome of the election will affect their personal finances. When the winning candidate receives less than 55 percent of the vote, the uncertainty is even greater. This is reflected in the fact that home sales fall an average of one-third to one-half of a percentage point during tight races.

The Good News

You should not let these...

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What You Need to Know Before Making an Offer

The home buying process can feel long and arduous, but you’re almost through it. You have secured your credit report and corrected errors, hired Christopher Milson as your real estate agent, and qualified for a mortgage loan. After looking at numerous homes that meet your criteria for location, square footage, and other factors, you have finally found one that feels like home. It's exciting and you're ready to make an offer to the seller. While it's understandable that you want to act quickly, it's also important to know how the process works so he or she ultimately accepts your offer.

Consider the Seller’s Point of View

Most people selling their home have been coached by their real estate agent to expect some haggling over the price. This is one reason they typically set the price higher than what they actually expect to receive for an offer. With this in mind, a good place to start with your offer is approximately five percent below the seller's asking price.

As your realtor, Christopher Milson will provide you with a list of the selling prices of comparable houses in the Clearwater, Florida area or you can locate this information online. He will then recommend a suggested offer price. After you have settled on a price, your Christopher will contact the seller’s realtor to begin negotiations. In most cases, you can expect the seller to come back with a counter-offer that is higher than yours but lower than the official asking...

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6 Stellar Reasons to Buy a Home in 2016



Is it really 2016 already?  For those of you who happen to be planning on buying a home in the new year—or even just trying to—there’s a whole lot to celebrate. Why? A variety of financial vectors have dovetailed to make this the perfect storm for home buyers to get out there and make an (winning) offer. Here are six home-buying reasons to be thankful while ringing in the new year:


Reason No. 1: Interest rates are still at record lows

Even though they may creep up at any moment, it’s nonetheless a fact that interest rates on home loans are at historic lows, with a 30-year fixed-rate home loan still hovering around 4%.

“Remember 18.5% in the ’80s?” asks Tom Postilio, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate and a star of HGTV’s “Selling New York.”“It is likely that we’ll never see interest rates this low again. So while prices are high in some markets, the savings in interest payments could easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage.”

Reason No. 2: Rents have skyrocketed

Another reason home buyers are lucky is that rents are going up, up, up! (This, on the other hand, is a reason not to be thankful if you’re a renter.) In fact, rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 biggest housing markets in 2015....

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Due to current low interest rates and anticipated appreciation rates for the next few years, homeownership is "one of the last legitimate wealth creation opportunities," according to Tim Rood, chairman of Washington, D.C.-based business advisory firm The Collingwood Group in an interview with Westwood One radio host Dirk Van.

"The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates," Rood said. "It's phenomenal."

Many economists and analysts have indicated that first-time buyers, which will largely consist of the millennial demographic, will drive increased home sales and the recovery of the housing market. Many millennials have been slow to enter the housing market, however. Rood said millennials are generally drawn to live in urban areas because of convenience, lifestyle, and walkable amenities, but they are paying 30 to 40 percent more in rents than they would be paying if they owned a home – and a result, they cannot save enough money for a down payment for a house.

"That’s why you see the regulators coming in and saying, 'We’ve got to think creatively about removing economic barriers to homeownership like lower down-payment programs," Rood said.

When Van asked if this was a better time to rent or buy, Rood said that housing inventory is one of the best barometers for health whether...

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