Housing Resource
Category: Selling Your Home

Oh neighbors…they can be the best or the worst. I hope that you always end up with the best neighbors! Oh HOA’s! They can be such a pain! But in certain situations they can be a blessing in disguise. If you live in a neighborhood with an HOA you most likely won’t have to deal with the neighbors who also use their front yard as a junk yard and that’s when you will be thankful for that HOA. If you are in the unfortunate situation of ‘messy’ neighbors and ready to put your home on the market, this info is for you…

You have put your home up for sale and done everything your agent has advised you to do to prepare your property for sale, but still no offers have come in.  If you suspect your neighbor’s property is preventing your home from appealing to potential buyers, there are a few things you can do to remedy this situation.  Here are some tips for dealing with problem neighbors while selling your home.

 

Are Your Neighbors The Problem?

Before banging down the neighbor’s door and blaming them for your home’s lack of appeal, you’ll first want to make sure that is really the problem.  Ask your agent what they think the problem is, and whether they agree that the neighbors may be preventing the sale.  Also ask other homeowners in the area what they think of any problem neighbors to get perspective before making that visit.

Use Tact When Approaching Neighbors

If you have determined that a particular neighbor is creating a problem that is affecting your home’s value and marketability, your best bet in getting them to agree to make the required changes is to be nice about it.  Offer to help them with the cleanup and explain that it is not only for your benefit, but will also increase their home’s value as well.  Planning a neighborhood cleanup and renting a junk removal service for the community may encourage them to clean up without even being asked.

Last Resort

If you have asked nicely and your neighbor still refuses to clean their property, there are steps you can take to force the situation.  Many municipalities have bylaws concerning the upkeep of property, and getting your local officials involved may be necessary.  Also getting other homeowners in the area on your side can make this easier.  Remember though, you should always approach the individuals first and ask nicely before reporting them to the authorities.

Messy neighbors can be an obstacle to selling your home, but in most cases a little diplomacy and an offer to help will get the task accomplished.

 

Are you considering putting your home on the market but think that you may haveThurston County Housing Marketmissed the season? Think again! According to the newest press release provided by the NWMLS, the market is still looking good! In the article there are statements such as “The market remains just as intense as July” and “We expect a repeat of conditions from last winter when every available home that came on the market in areas with a shortage of inventory received quick action (NWMLS 2016).” This winter might just be the best time to get your home sold quickly. Give me a call or email me and we can discuss your best options.

Market Activity Summary – August 2016

Thurston County Housing Market                                               
New Listings: 617
Total Active Listings: 1,121
Pending Sales: 651
Closings: 494
Average Price: $287,800
Median Price: $269,000

Pierce County Housing Market
New Listings: 1,975
Total Active Listings: 2,987
Pending Sales: 2,040
Closings: 1,576
Average Price: $310,029
Median Price: $283,225

 

References:

N. (2016, September 07). Housing market still active, direction “positive” Retrieved September 21, 2016, from http://www.nwmls.com/index.cfm?/Home/Current-News/page/Latest-News-Release

 

diy-renovation

It’s that time of year when home owners start thinking about putting their home on the market. It is common for sellers to wonder what their home is currently worth, and if they should do some updating to not only make it worth more, but for it to have better appeal. It is important for sellers to remember that looks count for a lot. Have you ever wondered what would be best to update before putting your home on the market? I suggest giving your Realtor a call to discuss current market conditions and how your home would hold up if put on the market in its current condition. Take a look at this article discussing The Renovation Dilemma: What to Fix If You’re Selling.

Kitchen_cabinet_pullsinterior paintingSomething as simple as new paint colors can make a huge difference in the eyes of a potential buyer. A home with a fresh, clean look usually gets some pretty good bonus points. There are some projects that aren’t recommended though, so make sure you are aware of those. They are covered nicely in the article mentioned above.

Best of luck on your renovations & getting that home on the market!

Are you in need of real estate advice in the JBLM or Thurston County market? Have questions about buying your first home or how to sell your current home? Contact Phil Sharp to get all of your real estate questions answered. He can be reached by phone at 360-970-9977 or send Phil an email.

 

messy-kidThe idea of trying to sell your home not only while you are currently living in it, but living in it with KIDS can seem a bit overwhelming. Don’t worry…it can be done! Deborah Kearns over at Realtor.com has come up with some simple tips on how to keep your home show ready even with little ones running around. Check out Smart Tips for Selling Your Home While Living in It With Kids.

It’s important to remember that when you decide to put your home on the market that keeping it looking nice will help with the sale. Potential buyers can have a hard time looking around a mess even if it could be there perfect home. Make sure to keep things as tidy as possible and it should help!

For more information on selling your home in the Thurston County/JBLM area, give Phil a call at 360-970-9977

 

Should You List Your Home In The JBLM area Now Or In The Spring?

 

Listing Your Home For Sale

Listing Your Home For Sale

Homes are selling within days or weeks of listing, there is a shortage of single family homes in the lower price ranges (up to 300K), should you list your home now?

My recent experience with listing clients (mainly folks who have purchased home with me in years past), is that they are waiting for a little more price appreciation, and plan to wait/List in the spring.  While that is a good strategy on the surface (higher price=more $), my concern is that we may see a glut of new listings in the new year.

As you would expect, there’s 5 years of pent up demand in the market…which has pushed prices up dramatically this spring and summer.  The pent up demand is not just first time buyers..it is all sorts of buyers and sellers; folks who what to trade up, folks who want to down-size, and those who just want to do something as an investment before the market totally recovers.  So what I am saying is there are a lot of sellers waiting in the wings…

This winter will present a good market for sellers because inventory is low and demand is still strong.  A surge of new listings in the spring may well put a damper on things…only time will tell.

 

 

Is 2013 the Year to Sell Your Home?

The Western Washington Real Estate market has changed dramatically for the better, and it almost seems like it is being kept a secret.  Many of us are not aware that the housing inventory, in the area within 30-45 minutes of JBLM, has dropped by 60% during the course of 2012.

The Growth of JBLM has been the driving factor in this year’s recovery of the housing market.  The installation has more than doubled in the past few years, and we currently host an active duty population of about 40,000.   We still have new units slated to move to Ft Lewis, and lots of soldiers re-deploying this winter who will be interested in buying a home come spring.

This past Christmas, we had approximately 9 months of housing “inventory” available in Pierce and Thurston Counties… priced below $300K.  Today the inventory number is closer to 3 months.  In addition, prices have crept up about 1% per month since June, and the trend appears to be continuing into the winter…IOW, the market is more active than normal for this time of year…especially for the past few years.

If you are considering selling your home, I encourage you to expose it to the Service Members of JBLM.  During the late fall and early winter, Soldiers and Airmen are receiving orders with report dates next spring.  If you hope to sell in 2013, you should put your home on the market after the holidays, price it and show it well, and a ready, willing and able buyer will come.

Visit Our Blog For Area Info

 

 

 

 

Search Homes For Sale Now at Phil Sharp Homes

Phil Sharp Homes has the APP for that!

PSHomes Search APP FREE Android Market

Here’s what it can do…

  • Find Listings using your mobile phone with a fast and easy user interface.
  • Find Open Houses near your location.
  • Search the entire database for WA properties for sale with your custom filters.
  • Search up to a 20 mile radius from your specified address
  • Save Favorites with easy Facebook, Google, Yahoo! or your current online account login. You can also create a new login.
  • This is the best part…Using the same login, your account favorites, saved listings and settings will be the same on your computer and phone.
  • Scan the QR Code with your phone, click the QR Code to see it in the Google Play store, or search Google Play for PSHomes Search to get the Android APP.

You can scroll 100 results at a time with no reloading. Easy input sliders help you focus your search on the features you want in the area you want. You are able to see photo’s, share listings, get school info, see Google Map Views, and all the features of the home. Contact phil via phone or email contact form to answer your questions or get help on a listing. You can even search foreclosures!

FortLewis.mobi link to bookmark on ALL DevicesIF YOU DON’T HAVE ANDROID, DON’T WORRY! Bookmark www.fortlewis.mobi on any portable device for the Phil Sharp Homes mobile search. If you have Google Chrome browser you can take the mobile search on test spin on your computer at www.fortlewis.mobi.

<QR Code to www.fortlewis.mobi, will work on iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Windows or any portable device! Don’t forget to bookmark.

Learn More…

Fort Lewis Area Foreclosure Listings View all Fort Lewis area foreclosure listings updated in real time.

Don’t Forget the Free Stuff!!!

Get a Relocation Packet, Care Package, Relocation Sponsor, Foreclosure Listings, Updates and More! Find the FREE STUFF Link at PhilSharpHomes.comVisit the Relocation Dept. at Philsharphomes.com for more information. The FREE Relocation Packet has great area information from the Chamber of Commers, JBLM, and more. Sign up today and it will be shipped to you FREE via USPS.

 

 

Yelm Home for SaleIn our last newsletter I discussed the current bank owned property inventory, and aggressive pricing by the banks.  The aggressive pricing seems to have had the desired effect.   A large part of the foreclosure inventory that piled up in November and December is sold, and default (pre-foreclosure) numbers in the JBLM Region have declined, especially in Thurston County (Info from Realty Trac) .  If you have been actively watching foreclosure listings, you have probably noticed that many (attractive and/or well priced) homes are no longer showing up in your search.  Of course the overpriced/junk is still out there!

There will of course be many, many more foreclosures over the next couple of years, but at least the tide seems to have turned.

I have been making noises about housing shortages for the past 6 months or so, and the inventory is starting to show signs of shortage primarily in finished new construction.  Several years ago, banks were allowing builders to pile up inventory…no longer.  Most of our local builders (Quadrant and Horton don’t fit this category) are now finishing one home, pouring the foundation on the next, and then being forced to stop until home #1 sells.  Additionally, while we still have a fairly large inventory of existing homes, much of what is out there has been picked over, and buyers are becoming more aggressive in bids on the more desirable properties.

Delays in new construction will push buyers to existing homes, especially relocating military buyers who’s alternative is a hotel.  More demand for existing homes, and a picked over inventory, may result in increasing home prices as we move into the summer.   With thousands of new arrivals expected to report to Ft. Lewis this year, our primary demographic (Close to JBLM, 1500-2000 sf, 3/4 bed 2/3 bath) is bound to be in more demand this year than last, when over half the population of the base was deployed.

While this is still very much a buyers market, things are looking up for potential sellers.  As we get further into spring and summer, I believe that we will see a sellers market situation for those wishing to sell, but only for those with desirable/well priced properties..

 

 

 

 
Buyer Financing Options

Home Buyer Financing Options

If you have been getting calls or junk mail referring to the VA IRRRL program, you may be a little hestant on this great offer. This refinance program is a great way to quickly (quick as far as refinance processes go) reduce your VA Loan interest rate and save some money every month. WARNING: There are some refinance companies that may not have the best terms, or are not completely upfront about the terms. So do your homework and find a reputable lender to help explain and get the terms upfront.

Here’s a scenerio from one of Phil Sharp Homes customers: Purchased a home in 2009 with a VA loan. Researched the IRRRL program, then researched banks and lender’s for more info. Found out that there were a lot of “shady deals” with the lending companies that were sending flyers, calling on the phone, etc. The “shady deals” companies had bad reviews, poor ratings with the BBB, tried to get people locked in an ARM loan and wasn’t upfront about fees. After contacting a local, reputable bank, the terms were a VA 30 year fixed at 3.98%. The application was started over the phone, took about 15-20 minutes. Minimal paperwork, they were able to roll the closing costs back into the refinance and take care of everything via phone and email. DISCLAIMER: This was one example of a homeowner taking advantage of this program and who has been very happy with the results, however, calling a reputable lender to discuss the terms and refinance for yourself to determine if this program can work for you as each persons result may vary based on many various factors including bank and VA requirements for each individual.

Here’s Some…

Information from the VA Website http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/irrrl.asp

IRRRL stands for Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan. Also called “Streamline” or a “VA to VA.”  Except when refinancing an existing VA guaranteed adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate, it must result in a lower interest rate.  When refinancing from an existing VA ARM loan to a fixed rate, the interest rate may increase.

No appraisal or credit underwriting package is required by VA.  You should be aware, however, that lenders may require an appraisal and credit report anyway.

A certificate of eligibility is not required.  Your lender may use our e-mail confirmation procedure for interest rate reduction refinance in lieu of a certificate of eligibility.

An IRRRL may be done with “no money out of pocket” by including all costs in the new loan or by making the new loan at an interest rate high enough to enable the lender to pay the costs.  (Remember: The interest rate on the new loan must be lower than the rate on the old loan unless you refinance an ARM to a fixed rate mortgage).

No lender is required to make you an IRRRL, however, any lender of your choice may process your application for an IRRRL.  While it might be the best place to start shopping for an IRRRL, you do not have to go to the lender you make your payments to now or to the lender from whom you originally obtained your VA Loan.

 

Market Update From Our Most Recent Email Newsletter, March 2011

In our last newsletter I discussed the current bank owned property inventory, and aggressive pricing by the banks.  The aggressive pricing seems to have had the desired effect.   A large part of the foreclosure inventory that piled up in November and December is sold, and default (pre-foreclosure) numbers in the JBLM Region have declined, especially in Thurston County (Info from Realty Trac) .  If you have been actively watching foreclosure listings, you have probably noticed that many (attractive and/or well priced) homes are no longer showing up in your search.  Of course the overpriced/junk is still out there!

There will of course be many, many more foreclosures over the next couple of years, but at least the tide seems to have turned.

I have been making noises about housing shortages for the past 6 months or so, and the inventory is starting to show signs of shortage primarily in finished new construction.  Several years ago, banks were allowing builders to pile up inventory…no longer.  Most of our local builders (Quadrant and Horton don’t fit this category) are now finishing one home, pouring the foundation on the next, and then being forced to stop until home #1 sells.  Additionally, while we still have a fairly large inventory of existing homes, much of what is out there has been picked over, and buyers are becoming more aggressive in bids on the more desirable properties.

Delays in new construction will push buyers to existing homes, especially relocating military buyers who’s alternative is a hotel.  More demand for existing homes, and a picked over inventory, may result in increasing home prices as we move into the summer.  With thousands of new arrivals expected to report to Ft. Lewis this year, our primary demographic (Close to JBLM, 1500-2000 sf, 3/4 bed 2/3 bath) is bound to be in more demand this year than last, when over half the population of the base was deployed.

While this is still very much a buyers market, things are looking up for potential sellers.  As we get further into spring and summer, I believe that we will see a sellers market situation for some segments of the market, but only for those with desirable/well priced properties..

 
Buyer Financing Options

Home Buyer Financing Options

When you buy a car the dealers have in-house financing options available for your purchase. This makes it convenient and assures your purchase will go through in a timely manner. You trust the dealer you have chosen to work with has identified the best financing options for you.

Why not do the same when selling a home? We market your home with a financing plan in place. As part of my marketing plan for your home I team up with a local lender, Ward Lending Group, that has been a pillar of the local business community for the past 20 years. We prepare loan data and promote incentives for potential buyers that will make them more confident about purchasing your home.

When a prospective buyer views your home online or in person, they will be exposed to materials explaining that we will help them obtain financing, along with rate and payment information that demonstrates just how affordable your home is. Many buyers, especially first time buyers, are intimidated by what seems to be the daunting task of obtaining financing. We provide them with the knowledge and information to remove the fear of rejection and show buyers they can get financing. We are prepared to make transactions happen for the buyer which helps you sell your home.

“Our buyers DON’T fail due to qualifying/financing.”

 

Foreclosure freeze Screw DriverThe likelihood that the latest housing crisis will grow into a freeze or moratorium on foreclosures is increasing as foreclosure moratorium discussion gains more media attention.  Some of what is being reported in the media indicates that legal recourse (foreclosure rights) may have been lost by lenders because of short cuts taken during the process of buying, selling and recording mortgage related security instruments. 

Before going further, I want to remind readers not to take all that you will inevitably hear about the “foreclosure moratorium” as fact.  The mis-information already floating around will inevitably be taken by some as gospel, and it will cost them their homes.  I recommend taking everything you hear about the foreclosure moratorium with a grain of salt, and don’t make any life altering decisions based on sketchy reports of banks being unable to foreclose.  IOW, if you aren’t making your payments, you will probably loose your home. (*but you may be able to make use of a delay in foreclosures to try again for a short sale or mortgage modification).

After the disclaimer in the previous paragraph, I encourage you to read an incredibly scary article at  http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2207990, The link came from Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate (Prudential Kansas City Realty).   Prior to reading this, I was under the impression that the most significant foreclosure problems were technical/administrative mistakes.  As you read, I think you will agree that there are some pretty significant “Oh S#@ts” here!

In my post about the latest foreclosure crisis, the issues that I presented were primarily robo-signing, loss of original documents, and other administrative failings on the part of the mortgage and trustee industry.  The issues brought out by Mr. Deninger, if they are factual, are much more significant.  These issues are so significant that they may well result in some mortgagors being able to walk on their lenders….without loosing their homes.  According to Mr. Deninger’s article, as lenders sought cheaper and more effective ways to bundle and sell portfolios of mortgages, they started taking short cuts in document recording, short cuts that affected chain of title and securitization of mortgage notes.  In other words, they may have inadvertently signed away the security for the notes they are holding…and of course that security is the borrower’s home.  In addition to stupidity, I am sure there were also crimes committed.

This situation will inevitably make lots of money for lots of lawyers, will cost tax payers piles more, and will probably allow distressed home owners to stay in their homes a little longer.  To home owners in distress…you rarely get something for nothing, so don’t plan on it (but if you can, look at this a short term reprieve and take advantage of it).  To the rest of us…brace for more finger pointing nonsense, brought about by greed, which will impact your life, and the value of your home, for a little while longer.

 

Will a Foreclosure Moratorium Result in Temporary Help for Distressed Home Owners?Foreclosure Moratorium or Freeze

The Attorney General of the State of Washington, and those of numerous other states, took action today regarding the current crisis in real estate foreclosures.  Rob McKenna, the Washington AG, put all foreclosure trustee service companies on notice, telling them to ensure that they are following the law in each and every foreclosure case, or not pursue the foreclosure further until they can.  While this does not amount to a governmentally imposed foreclosure moratorium, it may have the effect in a limited way.

Several large mortgage lenders have recently decided to voluntarily impose a moratorium on foreclosures until discrepancies in the way they are processed are resolved.  Reports on problems found with recent foreclosure proceedings show that most problems are a result of the sheer volume of foreclosure activity.  Bank employees signing documents by the thousands without reading them, notarizing signatures that were not witnessed, and short cuts in the legal process seem to be the most common sort of issue.  The current situation will require that all foreclosure files frozen in the process be carefully reviewed.  Missing document issues will need to be resolved, T’s will have to be crossed, and I’s dotted….but don’t fool your self into thinking the foreclosure will stop.

If a foreclosure moratorium is imposed, Home owners in distress can (and should) look at this as an opportunity.  While the likelihood of someone keeping their home and not making payments is pretty slim, a freeze could possibly add several months or more to the time you have.  If you have not tried a short sale, take this as a sign that you should try.  If you have not tried to get a mortgage modification (or if you have and failed) try again.  If your mortgage lender is one who has imposed a moratorium on foreclosures (such as BofA), they may become more interested in a mortgage modification instead of a foreclosure, especially since they are not doing foreclosures right now.

Are you are a home owner in trouble, don’t bet that a foreclosure moratorium to bail you out…but it will gain you some time.  Take what you can get, and take advantage of the situation!  If you are a homeowner not in distress, this probably means that the ups and downs of the real estate market may continue for a while.  If you are a home buyer, all of this means that there probably isn’t going to be a better time to buy a home….ever again in your lifetime, and the deadline on the fire sale just got extended by of all things…a freeze on foreclosures.  For More information about the foreclosure freeze, or foreclosure Moratorium, visit the Phil Sharp Homes Foreclosure Page