Nicole’s Real Estate News August 2013

 THE BUZZ

Pent-up demand and favorable affordability conditions are driving up existing home sales.  According to the National Association of Realtors®, the median price shows seven straight months of double-digit, year-over-year increases.  Multiple offers on competitively priced homes are still common.

However, higher mortgage interest rates are predicted to bite into high-cost regions such as California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area markets, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.   Freddie Mac places a 30-year, conventional fixed-rate mortgage at 4.07 in June, which was a rise from 3.54 % in May. 

Yun also reports that first-time homebuyers are accounting for only 29 % of purchases. He feels that the frictions of tight credit and limited inventory in the lower price ranges are holding buyers back.

Regarding inventory, rising values have improved the position of homeowners who may have been underwater on their mortgage. Some are selling now, though even more are waiting to see if their home may be worth more in the months to come.

There is no consensus as to whether home prices will continue to rise.  I believe we need to analyze the stats on every neighborhood individually in order to advise you wisely.  I am here to serve your needs.

 JUST ASK

Q: Why do a final walk-through of a property?

A:  The final walk-through is the time for the buyers to inspect the home, usually within five days before closing.  It is not a contingency but is important and should not be dismissed. 

The seller needs to make sure that the home is still in the same condition as was represented on the disclosures and that any agreed upon repairs have been completed.  Even if a buyer has bought a home “as-is”, the seller is still responsible for maintaining the home until close of escrow.

For a walk-through, a list of items to check includes the following:

  • Test all appliances. This includes making sure the refrigerator fan is still working and the food will stay cold.
  • Run water and look under sinks for leaks.
  • Run disposal and exhaust fans.
  • Turn on and off every light.
  • Flush toilets.
  • Open and close all doors including garage doors.
  • Test heating and air conditioning (wait to feel warm or cold air).

Of course, all debris should be removed from home and yard should be maintained.

If there are issues, the buyer’s agent will negotiate with the seller’s agent to hold money from the seller’s proceeds in order to have work completed.  Usually, everything goes smoothly, but know that I am here to protect your interests.

 

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