Category: Real Estate

Find a Neighborhood That’s Just Right for You

One of the hardest parts of a home search is finding just the right neighborhood. Of course there’s no perfect community out there but knowing what to look for might help you feel like you’ve landed in your own personal Nirvana.

Ask yourself these questions below when searching for a new ‘hood:

Does it match your lifestyle?
Just as a sprawling, suburban neighborhood in a gated community may not be right for a young and single professional, a family with three small children would likely be miserable living in a tiny condo on the 12th floor in a hip, downtown neighborhood.

Is pride in ownership obvious?
Pride in ownership is obvious when the residents maintain their homes and care about their neighborhood. You will be able to see if this is true by the way residents park their cars, hide (or not) their trash cans, keep lawns tidy, have freshly painted homes or building, etc. Look for visual cues that the neighborhood works together to take good care of what they own.

What is the crime rate?
Low crime rates in an area generally mean safety and security are everyone’s concern. Trulia’s Crime Maps are one way of checking the types and frequency of crime in the area and determine if it’s the right place for you.

What schools are nearby and how are they rated?
If you have children, great schools likely top your list of what makes a great neighborhood. In fact, even those who don’t have kids should use this as a determining factor. You may not have kids but when you go to sell your home someday, the next buyer might! Great schools help hold home values strong. Visit Great Schools for ratings of schools in the area and read what local parents have to say.

Can good medical care be accessed easily and quickly?
This is important for all residents, but especially for seniors and retirees looking to find that perfect place to retire and for families with young children.

Is public transportation accessible?
Easy access to public transportation is a plus for a neighborhood and a convenience for almost any lifestyle.

Are there outdoor activities close to the home?
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast then be sure to figure out how close the nearest adventure is! Are there jogging trails, ocean access, biking, hiking, tennis courts, parks, or golf courses nearby?

What shopping and dining options are in close proximity?
Having great restaurants, shopping, and markets close to home is a must! It’s not because you intend to eat out every meal or shop ‘til you drop, but when you need or want something, having it nearby is a major bonus.

Can you walk there?
The one extra that could make you fall in love with your neighborhood even more is if you can leave the car keys at home and hit the pavement to nearby conveniences.

You may not be able to score everything in every neighborhood you like (and if you do find this magical place, tell us about it), but here’s to hoping you can get close!

Sources: Realtor.com, Forbes.com & Trulia.com

10 Cities Booming with Millennials

mortgage
National Mortgage News recently reported on a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In it, data reveals that millennials are snatching up properties in metro areas with strong employment and relatively low income needed to purchase a home.

“Prospective millennial homebuyers residing in some of the most expensive cities in the country face the onerous task of paying steep rents while trying to save for an adequate down payment. However, for those currently living in or looking to move to a more affordable part of the country, there are metro areas right now with solid job growth and that offer a smoother path to homeownership,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

The following is the list of the top 10 metro areas the NAR cited for their above-average share of current millennial residents.

#10 Portland, Ore.

Millennial Share of Population: 15%
Millennial Median Income: $44,792
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 17.1%

#9 Austin, Texas

Millennial Share of Population: 17.7%
Millennial Median Income: $51,810
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 19.4%

#8 Seattle, Wash.

Millennial Share of Population: 16.2%
Millennial Median Income: $64,294
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 19.8%

#7 Washington, D.C.

Millennial Share of Population: 15.7%
Millennial Median Income: $69,874
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 20.8%

#6 Denver, Colo.

Millennial Share of Population: 16.1%
Millennial Median Income: $50,923
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 21.6%

#5 Charleston, S.C.

Millennial Share of Population: 15.8%
Millennial Median Income: $47,903
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 21.7%

#4 Salt Lake City, Utah

Millennial Share of Population: 16.6%
Millennial Median Income: $51,930
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 24%

#3 Raleigh, N.C.

Millennial Share of Population: 14.1%
Millennial Median Income: $49,892
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 28.4%

#2 Minneapolis, Minn.

Millennial Share of Population: 15%
Millennial Median Income: $55,066
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 28.7%

#1 Ogden, Utah

Millennial Share of Population: 14.7%
Millennial Median Income: $54,608
Millennial Homeownership Rate: 40.2%

Source: National Mortgage News

Is 2016 A Seller’s Market?

With fewer homes on the market to purchase, low interest rates keeping buyers intrigued, and home prices continuing to rise, experts say it is a seller’s market right now.

In its recent analysis, real estate marketplace Realtor.com finds homes are selling 7% faster than last year while home prices are breaking records. In April 2016, homes for sale spent a median 68 days between listing and contract, five days fewer than the same month in 2015. Six days faster than in March.
Beaverton real estate
Even though sellers are asking more for their homes, homes are selling at a faster pace. The median listing price in April was $245,000 – up 9% from last April and 2% higher than March. Inventory has slightly increased but is still down from a year ago.

The chief economist at Realtor.com says with housing demand up, strong employment rates across the country, and lower mortgage rates, we are in a strong and healthy real estate market – better than we’ve seen in a decade.

Realtor.com also reported that the top housing markets are seeing homes sell 17 to 45 days faster than the rest of the country. San Francisco, the nation’s most expensive housing market, leads the “hot” list. The median home there spends only 25 days on the market.

Here’s the “hot” list:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Vallejo, CA
  3. Denver, CO
  4. Santa Cruz, CA
  5. Dallas, TX
  6. San Jose, CA
  7. Santa Rosa, CA
  8. Sacramento, CA
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Stockton, CA
  11. Colorado Springs, CO
  12. Oxnard, CA
  13. Eureka, CA
  14. Modesto, CA
  15. Raleigh, NC
  16. Boston, MA
  17. Los Angeles, CA
  18. Boulder, CO
  19. San Luis Obispo, CA
  20. Lafayette, IN

If you’re ready to jump into the market in Beaverton, give me a call. We can get the process started today!

Sources: Consumer Affairs & Realtor.com (obtained May 2016)

How Much House Can You Afford?

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and a big decision! One of the questions I get asked often is, “How much house do you think I can afford?”
how much house can you afford
Your buying power is generally based on:

  • Income
  • Current debt
  • Credit score
  • How much you have for a down payment
  • What kind of property you’re interested in
  • The area you’re looking in

That’s a lot of different factors! To get you on the road to figuring out how much you can really afford in Beaverton, here are some helpful tips and tools:

Set A Realistic Monthly Budget

The percentage can vary, but most experts agree that you should spend no more than 20-30% of your total monthly income on mortgage costs. That leaves you well balanced for other expenses such as a car payment, necessities, utilities, other debt, savings, and, don’t forget… maintaining the home when things need fixing!

To get an idea of how much you can afford, try our “Discover Your Buying Power” tool.

Determine Your Down Payment

Generally speaking, the bigger the down payment, the more home you can afford. You’ll need to consider whether you’ve saved a chunk of money for the down payment or if you’ll use money from the sale of another home. Ideally, you will put down 20% of the cost of the home to avoid paying additional insurance premiums. But there are plenty of loan options out there that can help those with little down payment amounts too.

Figure Out the Maximum House Price For Your Budget

Now that you know the maximum monthly amount you can set aside for a mortgage and how much you have for a down payment, start crunching some numbers.

By using our mortgage calculator, you can start getting an idea of the loan amount you can afford.

Hire the Pros

After getting an estimate of your buying power, it is time to start getting serious about finding a new home! You’ll need a strong team of real estate agent and loan officer for the buyer’s advantage. If you’re ready to get started, ask me for a free consultation.

I’ll be happy to crunch the numbers for you and work with you along the way to your new home.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Interest.com, and Salted Stone