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Shared by Keith Robinson, NextHome Inc.’s Chief Strategy Officer

Should I sell my house right now? Can I even sell my house right now? Are there even any buyers? How do I stay safe?

There are so many questions right now from people who are thinking about selling their house, and rightfully so. The unhelpful but truthful answer to all of these questions is… “it depends.”

It depends because every state, county, and even some cities are all taking different approaches to how they are dealing with COVID-19. Some areas are pretty much business as normal, albeit with masks, six feet away, air hugs, and hands covered in sanitizer and gloves (that doesn’t sound very normal does it?). However, in other parts of the country real estate was deemed non-essential and you literally cannot get in to, or close on a house right now. Like always, but ever more so, you need to talk to a local real estate professional so they can help you navigate these new waters like Christopher Columbus (ok, that’s a bad example since he thought he “found” India but you get what I mean, right?).

Let’s assume you are in a place where a real estate transaction can happen, this might actually be a really good time to sell – if you’re willing to try a new process. Inventory levels are as low as they have ever been in the history of the United States, and there are some sellers who are electing to wait to put their homes on the market which is only exacerbating the inventory issue. On top of that, there are few buyers but the ones that are in the market see this as “their time” and they are as motivated as a two-year-old asking for another piece of candy (yes, THAT relentless).

You’ve decided you’re all in… what are the steps to the process? I’m glad you asked, they look something like this:

Step 1: Virtual Agent Interview. We’ve got all the software we need. Heck, our dang phones have like 17 cameras on them nowadays. So, we always meet at a distance and get to know each other. There are tools like GoToMeeting and Zoom where we can take you step-by-step through the process just like we would in your kitchen. If you are even considering it, you should set up a meeting. It’s at least a reason to put on real clothes, shoot maybe even socks. If people can find the love of their life online, we can probably decide if we’d work well together on a Zoom call right?

Step 2: Preparing the house for sale. We’ve found a professional love connection via technology and now we’re working together (yay!). How in the heck do I get my house ready for prime time? Luckily, in most areas across the country construction has been deemed essential so the cadre of professional, licensed, and insured contractors that your REALTOR® has relationships with should be able to get the work done that needs doing. Of course, it will be socially distanced construction and you might have to take a few long drives with the family for picnics and do a deep clean when they are done. However, it is possible it just takes extra coordination and communication which is what being a real estate agent is all about.

Step 3: Pre-Inspections. We’ll also work with inspectors who can do inspections before you put the home on the market so the buyer has as much information about the home as possible without even seeing it.

Step 4: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing. This one is more than one step. It’s a lot of steps.  Exposure of the property has always been important, but now it’s more important than ever. So let’s break this down piece by piece.

  • Custom Marketing Plan: There is nothing “normal” about our current situation. How we market homes has to change, that is why we’ve developed a custom marketing plan to make sure buyers know your house is for sale. With everything from increased online presence, virtual showings, virtual open houses, and more, you need new tools in the new normal and we’ve got them.
  • Maximum exposure online: Right now maximum exposure online is everything. During the first few weeks of COVID-19, the largest real estate sites saw a huge drop in buyer activity. But you know what, as people got a little less scared and a lot more bored they started looking at all the pretty houses again. The same real estate sites have seen a massive spike in buyer activity. That’s why we syndicate our listings to hundreds of websites so basically your house will be online more than that Tiger King documentary.
  • Virtual Image Package: Ok I made this one up. I don’t think there is such a thing as a “virtual image package” but there should be and now there is. Since so much of the process will be done at a distance that old saying of “image is everything” might be true right now. That’s why we’ve got 3D home tours, virtual staging, and always use professional photographers. All of this helps the buyer get closer and closer to feeling like they’ve seen the house from their computer screen (in their daytime pajamas).
  • Virtual Open House and Showings: Even with a Virtual Image Package (see how that just rolls off the tongue??) eventually a buyer is going to want to see the inside. That’s why we’ve developed strategies around doing Virtual Open Houses that profile the property to potential buyers and a virtual showing approach where the buyer can get a guided walkthrough of the property.

Step 5: Offers, addendums, negotiation, and close. Your house got more eyeballs than YouTube (ok, not THAT many… they got 1.6 billion visits monthly), so now its time to get an offer in. You might be surprised to know that much of this has been done “virtually” for a long time.  Gone are the days where a buyers agent will present in the conference room to the sellers and their agent. Today, with a full suite of tools we can literally do all the paperwork remotely without missing a beat. Just adjust the font size so you can read the fine print, smush the mouse button and you’re off to the races.

I do think you’re going to see the real estate process go more and more virtual in the coming months. Sure we will get back to shaking hands (maybe fistbumps?) and meeting in the dining room to review the process but much of this virtual process will stay even after COVID-19 is gone.

If you’re ready, I know your NextHome agent is ready. Give them a call and they can put on their mask and gloves and get the sign in the yard with that cute orange french bulldog Luke and then lead you through the process from start to finish.

 

 

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Shared by Keith Robinson, NextHome Inc.’s Chief Strategy Officer

How in the heck am I supposed to buy a house while I am sheltering in place?? I hardly know what day it is without checking right now. Is it actually possible for me to find a house, evaluate it, write an offer, get it accepted, and close on it? Not to mention moving… is that even legal right now?

Trust me, we hear you. It is always complicated, stressful, and a little emotional buying a house. Maybe even a little more so in this “new normal” (nothing normal about this) of COVID-19. To start with, the answer to all of the above questions is “it depends.” Super helpful, right? The thing is, every state (heck, every county) is approaching this differently. In some states it’s kind of business as nearly normal – just add in vats of hand sanitizer, masks, and 6-feet-away hellos. Others are in lockdown but real estate is deemed essential so you can still transact. And in a few, it’s been deemed non-essential and it’s literally not even possible to close on a home, not to mention see one. So… it depends.

If you are in one of the states (counties) with the first two options, there are some real opportunities out there for buyers right now. We’ve had an inventory shortage in this country for a while now and that is only going to continue with builders slowing down building and more and more millennials entering “household formation” years (a fancy way of saying they can now afford to buy a house). For the buyer with a little creativity and willingness to take action – and the right real estate professional – this could be the time. That being said, it is stressful and a person deciding to hold off to let the dust settle could make sense. The rest of this is for the creative and willing buyer.

Step 1: virtual buyer consultation.  It could be over Facetime, a Zoom meeting, or some other virtual conference room software. We’ve been doing things remote at NextHome since we started our company over five years ago. It’s not quite as good as meeting face-to-face but it’s really close to the same thing. I mean, if virtual happy hours are popping up around the U.S., then we can set up a virtual buyer consultation to have all your questions answered.

Step 2: virtual property search. Now you’ve already been digging through Zillow like a detective looking for the one clue to make your case. Now you’ve got someone to send them to so you can get more information. And you’ve got a partner in detective work who will be doing some digging with you and sending you properties that fit your criteria. Think of it as your virtual property concierge who is there to assist, and sometimes lead, the property finding process. Thank the technology gods that more and more have been developed to help you know a lot about a house before you see it. I know, I know, you’re already wondering what happens when you find your dream house online for that, it’s step 3.

Step 3: video home tours. We’ve all got a camera in our pocket (along with a calculator, take that my 6th-grade math teacher who said I wouldn’t always have one handy)and it’s as easy as ever to “see” a property at a distance. Your agent can get access to the property, fire up that Facetime, Facebook video chat, Google Duo, etc. and walk you through every inch of your future home.

Step 4: electronically sign things. Ok, we like it, no, we love it. Now what? It’s offer writing time. The ability to sign documents at distance has been around for years on the real estate side (come on mortgage side, step your game up, because not everything can be signed digitally there). We have all the real estate contracts, addendums, forms, and such available digitally and can email them to you. Then you would need to lean forward towards the computer screen to read the small print and smush a few mouse clicks –  you’re now in offer, counteroffer, negations, and starting the closing process. You will probably have to go somewhere to sign loan documents (see above about mortgage) but in most areas, they have changed their process to allow for safe signing. Some even have a mobile notary and closing specialist who can come to you to sign everything. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (it’s actually hard hard lemon hard but our trained real estate professionals are there to help you every step of the way).

Step 5: inspections. Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. There are lots and lots of inspections you can have done. And each of them can be completed, then the reports sent to you via email. We can even set up a virtual conference room to review the report with the inspector and the agent so you can get all your questions answered.

Step 6: transfer funds by wire. Yup, that’s right. You can move money around like a high-powered hedge fund manager. You feel pretty dang cool when you tell the closing facilitator, “I’ll have my people wire the money over.” Trust me. You do.

Step 7: keys, please! As an agent, this was always my favorite part of closing with a buyer.  Giving them their keys. As a real estate agent, there isn’t much more rewarding than seeing the people you’ve helped get the keys to “their home.”  It’s amazing. Now we just do it over a screen instead of in person. There are key delivery services that can have the keys brought right to you. You’ll just have to Facetime when you do it because I know your agent is going to want to see your smiling face when you get them.

Do I write this with the thoughts that someone will buy a house without ever seeing it. No, of course not. What’s important right now is we all stay safe and we can limit the contact as much as we need to for everyone to feel safe. And we’re fully set up to take care of as much of the process virtually as we can. For some buyers, this is the right time to get bold, take action, and go find their house. And for others, they might want to hold off a few months. For both sets of buyers, we’re here to help you whenever you’re ready.

 

 

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What You Should Know about Home Buying and Selling During the COVID-19 Crisis

NextHome SunRaye would like to share helpful resources that will help you navigate the new norms of real estate during this uncertain time, whether you are looking to buy or sell. Creativity and technology have been a tremendous help to agents, buyers, and sellers. Everyone is practicing health and safety measures while making deals happen, and it has been working well.

Many buyers are touring houses virtually. Others view homes in person but remain six feet from their agent. Sellers are hosting open houses on Facebook Live. Appraisers are conducting drive-by valuations. Buyers are watching inspections via video call, and closings are taking place safely as notaries get signatures on doorsteps outfitted in masks and gloves or via drive by closing services. While adjustments have been necessary and minimizing in-person interaction has been key, deals are getting done without much delay.

Buyers today are serious ones. Remember, there was a shortage of inventory across the housing market before today’s economic slowdown. With that stage being set and buyer choices already limited, some sellers have been removing their homes from the market due to the pandemic as well. This makes it a very opportunistic time for you to list your home for sale and appear on every buyer’s radar. As prices continue to hold steady in this low-inventory market, you can feel confident about selling today. Embracing the idea of selling virtually can result in your home making the top of an eager buyer’s list.

 

Hands Holding A Tablet And Searching For Housing to rent or buy online. Dark skinned male hands. There are silhouettes of different types of rental building around the tablet with lines leading to each. Wireless concept.
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VIRTUAL SHOWINGS and SAFE SHOWING GUIDELINES

Agents have been utilizing FaceTime and similar tools to conduct home tours for years. These platforms are now proving just how incredibly valuable they are in the process of home buying and selling during this health crisis. Zillow and other real estate sites have reported a 191% surge in 3D home tours and brokerages have reported a dramatic increase in requests for video home tours since March.

In-person showings are permitted in Florida, and agents have been diligent to wipe down door handles, spray lockboxes with disinfectant, while they open the house, closets, cabinets, etc. for their clients. Light switches stay on so no one touches switches. The National Association of Realtors recommends that only one buyer enter a home at a time, with six feet between each guest. NAR also recommends agents have potential buyers use hand sanitizer or wash their hands when they come in the door. Shoes should also be removed, and children should not be present at showings.

Mabél Guzmán, the vice president of association affairs for NAR has put together a video offering tips for virtual showings while we deal with these unusual circumstances.

MORTGAGE RATES and LOCKS and EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION

As mortgage rates have been fluctuating and closing times may take a bit longer, some lenders are extending mortgage rate lock periods. Grabbing a good rate and hanging on to it even if your lender takes a little longer to process your loan is quite possible. Check with your lender about its policy.

An important step in obtaining a mortgage is obtaining employment verification, and typically, lenders will call a borrower’s employer for verbal verification. Because so many business are not yet back up and running, the Federal Housing Finance Authority, which oversees Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and federal home loan banks, has relaxed the rules for loans backed by the federal government during this time. Lenders for these types of loans will now accept an email verification, a recent year-to-date paystub, or bank statement showing recent payroll deposit to meet this requirement.

SO, IS IT SAFE TO BUY OR SELL? 

The real estate industry is safely and creatively responding to these extraordinary times. Mortgage rates remain low and your agent is a great source of information about buying and selling during this health crisis to help you feel more at ease. Call NextHome SunRaye Realty today at (727) 343-8600 to discuss your options and how we can help you safely navigate selling your home or making your next home purchase during this time.

 

 

JUST SOLD SPOTLIGHT: Check out What has SOLD in Tampa Bay!

NextHome SunRaye Realty has been busy selling! Check out the some of the incredible homes we’ve had the pleasure to market and sell over the last month.

Click on each property for details:

611 Magnolia Steet, Windermere, FL 34786

500 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island, FL 33706

170 98th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33702

1932 New Hampshire Ave. N.E., St. Petersburg, FL 33703

6011 Skydale Way, #201, Riverview, FL 33578

4052 34th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33711

10227 N. Fleetwood Dr., Tampa, FL 33612

 

Have you been thinking about selling your home, but now feeling unsure due to the current health crisis? NextHome SunRaye understands that this is an uncertain time. Give our St. Pete office a call at (727) 343-8600 so that we may discuss the current market, how this crisis may affect the value of your home, and what your options are.

In addition, let us talk to you about the cutting edge selling tools that we have at our disposal that will enable us to effectively market your home virtually and increase its exposure to home buyers, while minimizing your risk to illness. You may decide it is the right time to sell, or maybe not. In either case, NextHome SunRaye is here to provide you with valuable information to help you decide, and we are ready to represent you in the home selling process, whenever you are ready to make a move. Stay safe and stay well!

 

Marketing Your Home for Sale During the Coronavirus Crisis

Do you want to sell your home, but are afraid to let potential buyers enter you home to view it? This is a legitimate concern these days as we experience living with the COVID-19 crisis, a new global reality that is limiting access to our typical, every day lives and restricting what we are able to do and where we are able to go. NextHome SunRaye Realty offers a dynamic solution, however. One of the cutting edge tools we use to market homes for sale that has proven to be very effective is Matterport 3D technology.

Matterport 3D technology is a powerful, all-in-one 3D data platform that lets you digitally clone your home into an accurately depicted, immersive digital twin for potential buyers to experience. Matterport creates a realistic digital duplication of your home that is dimensionally exact, allowing us (the marketing experts) to create an experience for potential buyers that is nothing like you have ever seen before.

Matterport 3D technology allows us to digitize your home from multiple angles and build functionality on top of it.  Potential buyers viewing your home will be able to:

  • get accurate measurements of each room, including any wall, door, or window using the measurement tool.
  • zoom out and see your home’s dollhouse view, which provides the ability to view it from the outside, rotate it along any axis to be able to see it from any perspective, and get the “big picture” of your home.
  • use the inside view to immerse themselves in a 3D walk-through as if they were physically inside the home and moving from room to room.
  • use the floor plan view, which provides a bird’s eye view of the home, looking down into the home as if the roof was removed. This allows easy understanding of the property’s layout.
  • view special annotated notes, called Mattertags™, throughout the virtual tour which help guide the viewer to what is important to see.

This incredible technology is able to capture any space in 3D, for potential buyers to view your home in walk-through mode, dollhouse view, and floor plan mode. This digital, virtual tour of your home can easily be shared with any potential buyers, anywhere, any time.

Click on this address to view one example of the VIRTUAL TOURS for a property we have currently listed for sale, located at:  7100 Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706.  This home, priced at $457,900, is currently under contract.

Here is another VIRTUAL TOUR example: 14019 Nighthawk Terr., Bradenton, FL 34202.  This home, priced at $300,200, is currently available for purchase.

With today’s technology, you can sell your home without missing a beat. You don’t have to keep your home “show ready” every day for potential buyers that may come through the door to view it. With today’s health crisis in full swing, avoiding risk and protecting your family’s health is imperative. Matterport 3D technology will increase showing activity and allow us to effectively market your home for sale.

With this amazing tool, NextHome SunRaye Realty can also hold virtual Open House events to market your home. This impressive technology will propel your home above the rest and increase its exposure to the home buying public.

Call NextHome SunRaye Realty at (727) 343 – 8600 to discuss the tools we have in our arsenal that will assist you with selling your home successfully during these challenging times.

The Advantages to Selling Your Home Via Xome’s Online Auction Platform

There are several innovative tools in NextHome SunRaye’s arsenal that we can use to help you sell your home quickly while maximizing the return on your investment. For example, we have had great success with listing homes for sale through Xome’s Super Seller program an online auction platform.  This program is an effective way to sell your home quickly and for its true value. Sellers choosing to list their home on the auction platform will still receive the the full host of professional services that NextHome SunRaye always provides to our clients. The Xome Offer Marketplace provides additional benefits that are worth considering. Best of all? It’s free!  Here are some of the advantages to having NextHome Sunraye list your home for sale on Xome’s online auction platform:

  • Homes listed in the Xome Offer Marketplace allows buyers to submit offers for your property online. Online auctions create competition, and buyers will often pay more in an auction environment than they would typically through a normally negotiated sale.
  • The seller saves money when their NextHome SunRaye agent lists their home for sale on Xome’s online auction platform. How? The buyer pays a premium which eliminates payment of agent commissions by the seller. That’s right! 0% sales commissions out the seller’s pocket!
  • NextHome SunRaye lists the seller’s home for sale in the MLS just as it would be when choosing traditional selling marketing methods. This ensures that home sellers still get maximum exposure to buyers’ agents and prospective buyers.
  • NextHome SunRaye still provides expert market analysis and home valuation to our clients, as well as pricing advice, professional photos, signage, open house coordination and hosting, management of showings, assistance with offer negotiation, marketing and advertising of the listing, and more!
  • Homes listings on Xome’s online auction platform are shared with national search portals such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and more.
  • The Xome Offer Marketplace is one of the largest and most active online real estate auction sites. With total sales over 80,000, it is an excellent way to expose your home to serious buyers and encourage multiple, competitive offers for your home while you maintain total control over pricing, as well as the decision of whether to sell or not.

What are you waiting for? Call NextHome SunRaye Realty today at (727) 343 – 8600 to learn more about Xome’s Super Seller program and online auction platform, a revolutionary approach to selling homes!

 

JUST SOLD in Tampa Bay!

The NextHome SunRaye team was very busy selling this summer! Check out what has recently sold in Tampa Bay this past month at NextHome SunRaye. Our agents have been hard at work marketing properties for our clients, and it shows!

9615 Cypress Brook Rd, Tampa – This charming, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, handyman special sold after just 40 days on market for $176,000! Featuring a covered lanai and plenty of room for a pool in the backyard, the new residents of this spacious abode are going to really enjoy customizing this home in Pebble Creek Village!

2242 6th Ave. SW, Largo – This spacious block, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom home sold for $169,000 after only 27 days on market! This home offered such an excellent investment opportunity that multiple offers resulted in a sale that was way over the full list price!

5817 Pierce Drive NE, St. Petersburg – Sold for $250,000 after just 31 days on market, this spacious, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom beauty sold for slightly over the list price! Located on an oversized lot in the highly desirable Edgemoor Estates, it is no wonder why this property was gone in a flash!

1527 13th St. S., St. Petersburg – This lovely home was just too good to pass up! With plenty of features, including real wood floors and a wood burning fireplace, this charming, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom HUD home lasted only 28 days on market; it sold for $68,000, which was $8,000 over full asking price!

512 129th Avenue East, Madeira Beach – This outstanding investment opportunity lasted just 28 days on market, selling for $686,000! This waterfront quadruplex located on a cul-de-sac in John’s Pass Village features four units and a dock with deep water to accommodate large 30′ sailboats.  Not only was it under contract in under a month, but we were able to obtain $10,000 over full asking price for our seller!

1716 Evans Dr., Clearwater – This sturdy block, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home located in the lovely Virginia Grove Terrace neighborhood in Clearwater sold after only 44 days on market for $175,000, which was $2,500 over the full list price!

1741 Eagles Nest Drive, Belleair –  This 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Belleair beauty sits on a corner lot in the very desirable Eagles Nest Gardens Estates and sold for $321,000. This spacious pool home could not be more ideally located – just blocks from Clearwater Harbor! It is no wonder why this rare opportunity was seized after only 17 days on market! Yes, that’s right, only 17 days!

If you are considering selling your home in the Tampa Bay area, call NextHome SunRaye Realty at (727) 343 – 8600. We can discuss your home’s value and how we can market your home for sale effectively. We will put our knowledge and decades of experience in the local real estate market hard at work for you. We will utilize an arsenal of cutting edge marketing tools to ensure that your home stands out from and above the rest.

 

Just Sold Cypress Brook JUST SOLD 2242_6TH_Avenue_SW Just Sold _Pierce_Drive_NE Just Sold 1527 13th Just Sold 512 129th JUST SOLD 1716_Evans_Just_Sold Just Sold 1741_Eagles_Nest_Drive

 

 

 

 

 

NextHome SunRaye Integrates 3D Video Technology to Showcase Properties Virtually

NextHome SunRaye has added Matterport 3D technology to its marketing arsenal in recent months so that we can continue to utilize the latest, cutting edge and effective technology to market homes for sale. This technology propels real estate marketing to another level, providing an all-in-one solution that serves buyers, sellers, as well as real estate professionals.

This technology enables us to offer distinctive 3D tours that provide realistic details and true experience of a home without setting foot inside the property. Buyers will experience an immersive, self-directed and comprehensive virtual tour before they decide to make an appointment to view the home in person. This saves everyone involved a lot of time and effort. The top quality result that is produced is extraordinary when considering the low cost of the technology itself.

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Check out the 3D virtual tours below on two of our listed properties that are currently for sale. These are great examples of Matterport’s 3D tech capabilities.

6377 15th St. S. in St. Petersburg is currently listed at $215,000. This Pinellas Point home is spacious and sits on an oversized .25 acre lot. Check out the versatile floor plan with 3 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living room, dinette, family room, and two-car garage. The pie shaped backyard is enormous, and it features an open patio with plenty of room for a pool and boat parking. This property is located very close to downtown, Tierra Verde, and beautiful Ft. DeSoto Beach National Park.

7842 Causeway Blvd. N. in St. Petersburg is currently listed at $269,500. This home is ideally located only just over a mile from the Treasure Island Gulf beaches. Take a look inside this 2 bedroom, 2 bath, split floor-plan with large living room that opens to a Florida room. Check out the updated windows, wood cabinets in the kitchen, and the lovely outdoor patio and resort style pool. The backyard is fenced for security and privacy.

If you are in the market to purchase a home, visit our website to peruse our other properties currently listed for sale, and call our St. Petersburg office at (727) 343 – 9600 so we can make arrangements to show you the latest homes and best deals to hit the market in person. If you are thinking about selling your home, contact NextHome SunRaye so that we may discuss the other innovative tools we utilize in addition to Matterport 3D technology to market your home!

Housing Trends: Why are Many Baby Boomers Deciding Not to Downsize?

USA Today recently reported on a new housing trend that has been gaining attention. It includes a growing number of older Americans in the baby boomer generation that are deciding not to downsize their homes as they near the age of retirement, as has been typical in the past. Instead, many are choosing to stay put in the homes where they raised their children. This reluctance to downsize is also contributing to the housing shortage around the country. Why are boomers choosing to remain in their sprawling abodes long after their offspring leave the nest to start lives of their own? Several factors come in to play, however, it appears that baby boomers are choosing to resist the traditional confines of what it means to advance in age just as they defied other establishment norms back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Other practical reasons have much to do with the decision to put off downsizing for many older Americans as well:

  • Many boomers are putting off retirement. Labor Department figures show that approximately 20% of Americans ages 65 and up are working or seeking employment, which is up over 12% from 1996.
  • Many have millennial children living with them well into adulthood, making the extra space a necessity. Statistics have shown that over the last decade, it has taken millennials longer than prior generations to launch their careers. According to Census figures, the percentage of senior households that have younger generations living with them rose 2% higher in 2016 from 14.4% in 2005.
  • Many older people are staying in the workforce longer because they are healthier and will need bigger retirement nest eggs to finance longer retirements, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. This is in part due to a large number of people that lost or had to tap into a signifiant portion of their savings during the economic downturn a decade ago.
  • Sky-rocketing home prices, rising mortgage rates, and inventory shortages at the lower end of the market have the potential to create a new housing crisis for baby boomers. There is a serious shortage of less expensive, smaller homes in the country right now, which has resulted in an increase in prices for homes in this tier, making the tradeoff less attractive to those who are open to downsizing.
  • Many boomers who held off on renovating during and after the housing crash are now focused on making and enjoying those upgrades rather than downsizing.
  • Many want to enjoy bigger properties that they could not afford earlier in life that also offer more room for visiting family members.
  • For some, selling can result in a large capital gain which may negate the benefit of a downsize.
  • Many boomers have finally paid off their mortgages and don’t want to start making housing payments again.

Lastly, 54% of those surveyed by Merrill Lynch said that they don’t plan on downsizing because they feel comfortable in the house where they raised their children. Many feel that their current house has always been and for now, will continue to be “home”.

 

Older Couple

Image via Flickr by Stannah International

Make Your Home FHA Loan Friendly and Appeal to More Home Buyers

11859 Dunster Lane

 

With 30 percent of today’s homebuyers using FHA mortgage loans, it is important to capture this buyer pool when marketing your home for sale. First time homebuyers gravitate toward using FHA loans especially because it allows them to make a down payment of only 3.5% of the purchase price. Here are some other FHA facts to know that will help you get your home FHA ready:

  1. It is important to learn the FHA lending limits in your area. In Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, FHA will insure a mortgage of up to $314,827 on a single family home. For a duplex, FHA will insure a mortgage of up to $403,125.
  2. Buyers will want a home inspection, regardless of the type of mortgage loan they plan on getting. As the seller, you will need to provide an FHA buyer with a form that details what a home inspection can reveal, and how home inspections are different from appraisals.
  3. As a seller, you need to be prepared to rectify any problems that appear on the home inspection, otherwise, FHA will not give approval until serious defects are repaired, such as a roof leak, mold, structural damage, or any interior or exterior paint that could contain lead and predates 1978.
  4. Although the buyer can choose his own appraiser to assess your home, FHA only allows inspections by appraisers that are FHA approved. As a seller, it is recommended that you assist the buyer’s lender’s appraiser by providing easy access to crawl spaces and other areas, which the appraiser will most likely have to photograph.
  5. For all FHA loans, the seller and other interested parties can contribute up to 6% of the sales price or toward closing costs, prepaid expenses, discount points, and other financing concessions.
  6. If you are selling a condo, you will need to find out if your condo is FHA approved for mortgages. To learn this information, visit HUD.gov. You will get the best results by searching by zip code. There are rules that apply in order for condo associations to qualify for FHA approval. These rules include restrictions on the percentage of unit owners that are late on association fees. FHA usually won’t insure loans in condo associations where that percentage exceeds 15%. Other factors like insurances, cash reserves, and how many units are owner-occupied play a part in whether a condo association becomes FHA approved. If your condo does not meet all of the requirements, there are some lenders who will provide FHA waivers. You can discuss this with your agent who can help you identify some of those lenders if this becomes necessary.

When you are ready to sell your home, give a NextHome SunRaye agent a call. Our team is eager to help you get your home FHA ready and market it to all qualified buyers. Partnering with a NextHome SunRaye Realty expert will ensure the prompt sale of your home and a maximum return on your investment.