Tag Archives: real estate agent

Downsizing To A “Smart Home”

Image result for smart home

In 15 years, the number of people ages 65 and older will exceed the number ages 18 and younger. Living longer makes the transition from the traditional four-bedroom family house to a smaller floor plan very attractive to new retirees. And with smart home technology becoming more accessible every day, active seniors can look forward to living safely and securely for years to come.

According to REALTOR® Magazine, “a smart home is a dwelling that is equipped with electronic devices that can control the use of utilities and appliances via voice activation or a mobile app.”

All you need to transform any home into a smart home is (1) a high-speed internet connection, (2) a voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa and (3) a smart alarm system.

With these three basic technologies, you can play music, control lighting, brew coffee, set thermostat temperatures, monitor energy usage, and see who is at your front door, among other things.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011-2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.  

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

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Home Flipping Can Be Highly Profitable

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During the Great Recession (2007-09), many properties lost equity as the housing market began falling. Short-term investors then started buying up properties that had fallen into foreclosure in order to flip them at a profit.

By contrast, flipping houses in today’s seller’s market is all about buying fixer-upper properties, making improvements and then reselling them to millennials and other first-time buyers.

Since the data firm CoreLogic first began tracking quarterly statistics on home flipping in 2002, the highest rate of home flipping as a percentage of all residential properties sold occurred during the first quarter of 2018 at 11.4 percent.

This upward trend continued last year with a higher rate in the fourth quarter than any previous fourth quarter – reaching almost 10.9 percent of all home sales. This marked the culmination of 12 consecutive quarters with residential flipping rates increasing on a year-over-year basis.

While flipping rates as a percentage of all homes sold vary widely across the U.S., the numbers tend to be highest in the Sun Belt. Eight of the top 10 metro areas are located in the southern half of the country: Birmingham, AL; Memphis, TN; Tampa, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Camden, NJ; Phoenix, AZ; Palm Bay, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Lakeland, FL; and Atlanta, GA.

Most of the metros where flipping has the highest rate of return on investment (ROI) are in areas that have a significant number of older homes to flip: Detroit, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Cleveland, OH; Akron, OH; Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; Wilmington, DE; Toledo, OH; and Milwaukee, WI.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

One Main Reason Fall Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A House!

image from: H Sundholm (henriksundholm.com) on Flickr

What if your home no longer suits your needs, because it’s too big, or too small, or in the wrong part of town, or … well, there are all kinds of reasons you may want to move. Luckily, fall is a great time to buy a new house and make it into your cozy new home.

Motivated Sellers= More negotiating power

People who sell their homes in fall and winter are often in a hurry to make a sale. They want to be settled before the holidays come, or they want to get a tax break* for this year rather than next year, or they have a new job and they need to relocate. These sellers are looking to close the sale as quickly and smoothly as possible. 

When you buy in fall, the combination of motivated sellers and fewer other homebuyers competing with you for available homes means more negotiating power in your hands, which often results in a better deal. This could mean a lower sales price, seller-paid repairs or upgrades, and even seller-paid closing costs. 

Buying a home in the fall gives you the best of all worlds — lower prices and less competition but still enough inventory to find the home you want. 

If you’re serious about buying a home, doing so this fall may save you money or help you afford more than you expect. Contact me today to discuss your options before you miss out on the fall homebuying season! 

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Choosing The Right Mortgage For Your Needs!

Image result for choose the right mortgage for you

Your personal finances, the lender’s requirements and how long you plan to stay in a home all factor in to choosing a mortgage. Compare the four primary types to find the right loan for you.

Fixed-rate mortgages: The most common type, these loans offer a consistent interest rate over the life of the loan. While the stability is helpful, you’ll have to refinance and pay closing costs again if you want a lower rate in the future.

Adjustable-rate mortgages: These mortgages offer lower rates initially, but after a specific amount of time, your rate resets – meaning your payments could rise or fall for the duration of the loan. 

Government-insured loans: For those who qualify, these loans often have more lenient credit requirements and lower down payments than conventional loans. 

Jumbo mortgages: More common in higher cost areas, these mortgages exceed the federal loan limit and require buyers to have excellent credit scores, significant assets and substantial cash for a large down payment.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Update On Interior Surfaces

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The trendy styles for countertops, flooring and walls were revealed at The International Surface Event trade show this year. 

“Geometric designs, increasingly refined faux-hardwood porcelain tile and luxury vinyl-tile floor coverings were prevalent,” reports Houzz.com. 

Whether you’re updating your drab interiors for your own enjoyment or redecorating your home for resale, here are some highlights to consider.

 Patterned tile: Increasingly popular choices for kitchen floors and bathroom walls are graphic encaustic (or inlaid) tile and arabesque mosaic tile.

• Quartzite: “The great thing about quartzite is it comes in so many colors, so a lot of it looks like marble, but it’s much stronger,” according to the National Stone Institute. “It’s good for countertops.”

• Faux wood: Selected for its easy maintenance and lower cost compared with natural hardwood, the wood look is available in materials such as laminate, porcelain and vinyl.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Almost 40% of U.S. homeowners are mortgage free!

Image result for free and clear mortgage

More Americans are living mortgage-free. This article by Shelly Hagan will show you how.

About 37% of U.S. households are “free and clear,” meaning they no longer have a home mortgage to pay, according to a Zillow data analysis. This number ticked upward after the Great Recession and over the past 10 years, the share of homeowners paying off their mortgages has risen 5.5 percentage points.

“In general, higher home equity is financially preferable and the rise in mortgage-free ownership is in line with brighter economic conditions, which is why we’ve seen the free-and-clear share increase over the last decade,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at Realtor.com.

An aging population and change in owner demographics is another reason for the increase, according to Zillow. Younger Americans are likely to wait longer to a buy a home due in part to rising living costs and student debt. As a result, older Americans comprise a larger share of total homeownership and have had years to pay off a home as well as build wealth. This trend could reverse as younger generations age and enter the real estate market.

Trade-offs associated with paying off a mortgage include abrupt changes to the value of the home and the opportunity cost of other higher investment returns when mortgage rates are low, Vivas said.

Mortgage characteristics vary by state and those with lower housing prices typically have higher rates of fully-paid mortgages. In 2017, the most recent available data, West Virginia had the highest share of “free and clear” ownership at 54%. Maryland and the District of Columbia were on the other end of the spectrum with rates of 27% and 24%, respectively.

Over the last decade, the median price of an existing home in the U.S. has increased by more than 60% — or an addition of more than $100,000 in equity for homeowners without a mortgage.

Zillow analyzed data from the American Community Survey, which occurs annually and includes about 3.5 million responses. The Bureau of the Census also runs the American Housing Survey (AHS), which looks at mortgage characteristics. While the upward trend in “free and clear” homes is evident in both surveys, the AHS suggests the rate is higher — at 40% of total owner-occupied units. The AHS is conducted every other year and covers a smaller sample size of 115,000 units.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

5 Tips On When You Should Buy A Retirement Home!

Have you talked about moving away when you retire? Have you decided on a location? Do you know when you are going to find “the place?”

If you know the “where” part of the equation, have you started taking regular vacations to that place?

If you are planning to retire in the next five to seven years, it’s not too early to start thinking about your retirement residence.

Here are five financial and non-financial reasons why you should consider buying your retirement house before you retire, especially if you are going to have a mortgage:

1. The mortgage

It is easier to qualify for a mortgage if you are still working. For most people your income is higher before you retire so your debt-to-income ratio is more favorable. If you wait until retirement, you may be limited to a smaller mortgage size.

Interest rates are still relatively low are showing signs of moving upward. Locking in a low-interest rate mortgage now could positively impact your retirement budget.

Caution: A mortgage on a second home is more difficult to obtain. In addition to an excellent credit rating, you’ll need a down payment of 20 percent or more. A mortgage for a second home or “vacation” home usually has a better rate than a mortgage that would be used to obtain a rental or “investment” property.

2. DIVERSIFICATION

Any additional real estate could expand and diversify your portfolio. If you can manage an extra mortgage payment, consider buying the house now and possibly renting it out for a few years, or even seasons.

If the house is in a location you can frequently access, consider using a service like vrbo.com(Vacation Rentals By Owner), or Airbnb.com.  If the property is across the country, you might consider a long-term lease, with a local property manager to tend to your renters.

Caution: Carefully read your homeowner’s insurance policy and your mortgage note. Each one of these may have clauses that prevent you from renting the property.

3. CASH FLOW FOR REPAIRS AND UPGRADES

Unless you purchase a brand-new home or one that has been newly remodeled, you’ll probably want to make some upgrades. Your current income combined with the time prior to retirement should give you the opportunity to complete the improvements and repairs. You may be able to rent the house out for a while to accumulated the funds for the upgrades you want.

4. BUDGET PLANNING

Buying the house now will give you very accurate dollar figures for your monthly expenses in retirement.  You will know your monthly housing, utilities, property taxes, and local costs.

5. LOWER STRESS

While you’re working, you might have a nagging item on your to-do list about where you’re going to live in retirement.

If you make your purchase before you quit the workforce, knock one thing off your list for some peace of mind regarding the decision. If after spending vacations at this house you find its’ not the ideal house for retirement, it might be easier for you to sell it and find a replacement while you are still employed.

If retirement means moving to a new location, give some consideration to finding that place before you retire. There is no magic answer, but you need to determine what is important to you.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!