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Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that’s far from the truth! Although it’s not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That’s a misconception that homeowners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers. Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition. Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That’s why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summertime brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn’t make your home sit stagnant since everyone wanted your neighbor’s house. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood and draw all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home. Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

 

Are Investment Rentals Right For You?

When thinking about investments and retirement goals, many people think about owning rental properties.  After all, they pay for themselves, right? They can be excellent additions to a savings and investment portfolio, but there are also risks. Here are the things to consider.

First off, the good news

If you are considering purchasing a rental property, just about all of your expenses are tax deductible (unless you rent to family members). Your mortgage loan interest, property taxes, andinvestment-rentals-cover maintenance expenses are all allowable deductions. Your accountant may find other deductions for you as well, such as a 27-year depreciation rule.

Now for the risks

Many areas are too expensive for rental investments. You will want to know that your monthly cash flow from the property meets or exceeds your expenses. In pricey locations, you may wind up upside-down and spending more each month than you are taking in. Believe it or not, prior to the Great Recession, many investors did not worry about rental income meeting expenses because they had so much ongoing appreciation in property value. We know how that worked out.

Speaking of appreciation, the best rental properties are in areas with steady appreciation in value. It is tempting to purchase costly investment properties in high-end neighborhoods, but you may get better long-term increases in value in other neighborhoods as well. This is important because you will eventually want to sell your property and make a profit.

fixerupper-movein-ready-coverOngoing maintenance is necessary, of course, but may cut into your spare time. You may also get that yucky middle-of-the-night backed up plumbing calls. Do you really want to handle this? The solution is to hire a management company, which will add to your (tax-deductible) expenses but may provide you with a lot of peace of mind.

Then there are landlord-tenant laws to contend with. Be familiar with your locality’s laws before even considering purchasing. Is there rent control? If your tenant stops paying, what are the rules for eviction? How much notice do you have to give before entering a property? Just about every city has posted laws online. You may wish to consult a real estate attorney if you have detailed questions.

It is tempting to focus on your monthly return. Keep in mind that vacancies and maintenance expenses are inevitable and make sure your budget takes those costs into consideration.

Finally, can you afford another monthly bill and twice-yearly property taxes? If your finances are already stretched, another payment or two might be really unpleasant, even if you are achieving a cash return.

If you have considered everything and still would like investment properties, have fun becoming a budding real estate mogul!

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The BEST Way To Be Superdad For Your Children During Their Home-Buying Experience

So your kid is out there looking to buy a house.

You think to yourself, “I know she’s not a ‘kid’ anymore…”

But…she’s still your kid.

It’s hard to just stand by and watch. You want to step in and make sure she doesn’t make a mistake or spend too much.

You can’t believe the prices of houses she’s looking at. You felt like the prices were high when you bought your first home, and now…now they’re just crazy. Who can afford these prices?

Everything she’s looking at are absolute money-pits. You feel like most of these houses are basically tear-downs.

And you’re pretty sure the agent she’s working with is just in it for the money…

Pushing her to make a quick decision.
Pushing her to go to the highest price she can afford.
Pushing her to make a decision before you chime in.
Pushing you away…so you can’t chime in and stop your daughter from making a mistake.

You have every right to feel this way

You’re a dad. You’re there for your kids, even once they’re an adult.

You’re there to help pick up the pieces if they fall. But, better yet…you’re there to help avoid pieces ever falling, and needing to be picked up.

And you’re right…

Real estate prices are higher than when you bought your first home. (And, yes, prices were high back then. It’s all relative.)

Many of the homes your kid has to choose from probably do need lots of work. Even the best of them might not be as nice as what you’re able to own and afford.

And, maybe the real estate agent is being “pushy” with your kid.

Annnnd…maybe the agent is pushing you away. Keeping you at arm’s length…

They have a right to feel this way

You aren’t the real estate agent’s client. Their duty is not to you. Your child is their adult client. And they also have a duty to protect them. Even from you (harsh as that may sound)…

Unfortunately, many dads (and, to be fair, many moms, too) have set the precedent.

Dads can be deal-killers. And not in the heroic you-saved-the-day kinda way.

Sometimes agents come across as being pushy but are just expressing a need for urgency in a fast-moving market.

Sometimes agents seem to be “pushing the price up”. It would seem to be for their own benefit from the outsider’s point of view. But it could just be a reality their client needs to deal with. If they don’t go higher in price (even over asking at times), they won’t get the house they are going after. Or any house at all, for that matter.

Sometimes an agent may seem to be ignoring how much work a house needs. That might be because the house is a good deal as-is, or it’s the best location, or just as good as a buyer in that range can expect to find and afford.

Dads tend to swoop in during the moments of decision…coming to see a house their child is about to make an offer on…the house their kid fell in love with.

Dads don’t tend to be around for the entire process and see every house their child saw along the way. Nor are they privy to every conversation they had about the market.

Buying a house is a process

Finding a house to buy is a lot of sifting through houses you don’t end up buying.

It’s a process of getting to know the inventory. Getting a feel for how the market is moving. How quickly other buys scoop things up. Making tentative low offers, and being beaten out by higher ones. Watching prices go above asking…or not. Seeing how few great houses there are to choose from, and being ready to pounce when you come across the “perfect” one (warts and all).

And often enough, buyers want to swing their dad by the “perfect” house to get dad’s opinion, blessing, and approval. (Plus, they’re also just excited to show dad the house they found and want to buy!)

That’s when dads often swoop in, without benefit of the entire process, and cast judgment down upon the house, the neighborhood, the market, and the agent(s)…and put the brakes on. Hard.

It’s usually with all the best intentions. And it’s undoubtedly meant to be good advice.

As a dad, you want to make sure your kid doesn’t make a mistake they regret. And the easiest way to do that is to give riskless advice

“I wouldn’t buy this house. It needs too much work. It’s way overpriced. Wait. Wait for the market to get better. Wait for a better one to come along. Wait and save some money so you can afford a better house.”

Basically any advice but, “Buy this house! And buy it now!”

Because, advising your child not to buy a particular house, can never be proven as bad advice. It’s riskless. No mistake can be made. No pieces need to be picked up. They can’t get hurt if they don’t buy it.

Or can they!?!?!

Don’t get in the way

As much as you may not believe it at times, kids listen to their fathers.

Especially adult kids.

Especially on big decisions.

Even more so if dad has some skin in the game…like, help with the down payment or closing costs. (Which is pretty common.)

Sometimes kids listen simply because they don’t want to make a decision and risk hearing, “I toldja so! Shoulda listened to me!”, the minute there’s an issue with the house.

And listening to dad’s advice can sometimes get in the way of getting the best house they could have because someone else scoops it up while they hem and haw. And now they have to wait for the next needle in a haystack of a house to come along. If ever.

Or, eventually, they have to settle for a house they like less when their back is against the wall of time, because they’re at the end of their lease, or they’re closing on the house they’re selling.

Once time is against them, all hope of negotiating the best deal is pretty much out the window.

That doesn’t mean don’t be involved

You should care.

And if your child wants you involved, you should be involved. Your perspective and advice can be helpful.

Believe it or not, most real estate agents will welcome your involvement. If your help, involvement, and opinion are along for the ride, for the entire ride.

It’s best to be involved from the get-go. Go through the entire process with your child and their agent.

You may not want to go see alllllll of the houses they see in-person, or on-screen, but it’s important.

If you don’t, you lack a full picture and handle on the market that they build over time.

You don’t have to, of course…but then, you can’t just swoop in with your Superdad cape without feeling like you’re fighting your archenemy Superagent. And it’s a silly fight because you’re both trying to protect the same person.

You should both be protecting your child from potential pitfalls…not from each other.

I’ve created a free guide to help my clients properly prepare for purchasing a home. If you’re thinking about buying a home in the near future (or ever…), grab a copy! The Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide