If you are looking to buy or sell a home you have probably received real estate advice from friends, family, and coworkers who think they know best. As well-meaning as they are, those close to you may have heard some frightening myths about the real estate industry. Don’t worry, we’re here to debunk those myths so that you and those close to you have a better understanding of real estate.
If you have found the home for you and you don’t have the preapproval letter accessible, then you may be at a disadvantage when making a successful offer. The real estate market is competitive, and most offers will not be approved without a loan approval letter. Be sure to get preapproval before searching for the perfect home. Then you avoid the potential nightmare of losing your dream home.
A home does not pass or fail an inspection. Rather an inspection is completed so that you can understand the condition of the home. The inspector will provide a report of the key systems of the home and the life expectancy of big tickets items like the roof. You wouldn’t want to purchase a dream home and then have spooky electrical issues. If you want to learn more about inspections read our blog about the 5 Questions You Must Ask Your Home Inspector.
The price of a home is affected by the market conditions, the property’s location, and it’s size. The listing agent strongly suggests a price based on all of these factors. Then the seller may negotiate that price, but the seller is not the one who says, “My home is worth x amount and I’m going to price it as such.” Most prices are negotiable; so don’t be scared away by the initial price.
Holding an open house shortly after listing creates attention for the home. An agent can learn valuable information on what buyers’ opinions are of the home at an open house. Many tech-savvy buyers use the Internet to search for properties first, to filter out the haunted houses. So when they visit an open house and they’re pre-approved, they may be ready to write an offer.
“In reality, the best offer is the one with the highest probability of closing,” said Allen Schild, real estate broker for @Properties in Chicago. Even if you have a high offer, it could come with ghoulish contingencies or a deadly long closing period. Consider different factors, like if the buyer is offering cash before you make your final decision.
Don’t believe everything you hear about the real estate industry without doing your own research. We hope you enjoyed learning about these frightening real estate myths. You may find that there are myths out there that still need to be debunked. Let us know if there are any other myths that need to be brought to light by leaving a comment on our Facebook and Instagram posts promoting the blog!
Who doesn’t love fun facts? We do, here at Young Team Realtors. We rounded up 10 real estate facts that are sure to entertain your brain. So read on to learn some interesting facts about real estate.
#4 Mark Zuckerberg purchased four houses next to his home in Palo Alto and leased them back to the families that lived there. He did it to avoid the houses from being marketed as “next door to Mark Zuckerberg.”
#8 In 1945, a B-25 bomber pilot crashed into The Empire State Building. The impact snapped the cable of the building’s elevator shaft. By the time the carriage reached the bottom, a thousand feet of cable had piled up beneath it, acting like a spring, which allowed the lone occupant in the car to escape injured, but alive.
#9 In a competition to build the world’s tallest building, the architect of the Chrysler Building secretly built it with a 125 ft long spire inside. When his competitor’s building was completed, the spire was pushed up through the building, making it taller by 119 feet.
What did you think? Which fact was the most interesting to you? Let us know on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts of this blog! If you have any interesting real estate facts of your own, leave them in the comments!
Hey, it’s Ryan Young with The Young Team giving you a quick update on how the local real estate market is doing so far in 2017. We’ve put together a report by compiling statistics and interpretations from the market, so please check out the video and infographic below.
It’s been a phenomenal year in real estate- it’s one of the busiest and healthiest seller’s markets I’ve seen in Cleveland! If you have any other questions about our regional real estate market or your specific local market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to answer any questions!
10 MID-CENTURY MODERN HOMES IN CLEVELAND YOU CAN BUY RIGHT NOW
If you keep up with architecture related news in the Great Lakes region, you might have heard that Ohio-born architect Robert Metcalf’s longtime home hit the market in Ann Arbor, Michigan this month for $749,900. The three bedroom, two bath split-level not only features the open floor plan, large windows, and flat lines typical of mid-century modern homes, but also exemplifies Metcalf’s insistence on incorporating the highest quality materials and functional designs.
However, you don’t have to leave Cleveland to find a perfect mid-century modern home; Metcalf and other prominent architects designed similar homes throughout the Midwest and other states in the 1950s and ‘60s. Before you commit to trading one Great Lake for another in pursuit of retro living and angular flair, check out 10 mid-century modern homes you can buy right now, all under Cleveland’s own Lake Erie’s coast.
WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT A MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
While modern architecture gained popularity in the 1950s, the style retains its appeal to this day as it prioritizes simplicity, nature, and flexibility. Moving away from purely decorative features in favor of simpler forms, modern designs incorporate sleek lines and visible structure system. You’ll love the clean look of these geometrical frames and functional designs that add visual interest without clutter.
Modern homes tend to complement their natural setting rather than fight against it, often by incorporating unconventional level design—split level homes are quite common, as are lofted areas and walk out basements—which allow a home to take advantage of sloped land without leveling the plot. In addition to unique floor plans, modern designs feature large, often floor-to-ceiling or full wall windows, which welcome the exterior landscape into the interior living space, not to mention natural light.
Mid-century modern also homes regularly include open floor plans, allowing a more inviting, integrated living space as well as increased design flexibility as you can choose how to inhabit your home.
From an immaculately updated Hunting Valley home with everything needed to entertain to a modest fixer-upper with promising potential, you might just fall in love with a modern home in Northeast Ohio
Surrounded by manicured gardens on an expansive five acres, this contemporary Daisy Hill home makes it exciting to entertain. Upon entry, the slate floored-foyer steps down into an expansive family room featuring exposed brick columns and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the back patios and gardens. Above, the vaulted ceiling features cutout windows and points to a second-story catwalk that leads to three bedrooms, each with an attached full bath.
The first floor master suite features bamboo floors, a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, and corner wall-to-ceiling windows that lead out to a peaceful private patio, not to mention the fully mirrored private dressing room. Additionally, a sophisticated dining room, spacious kitchen, and lower level media room with a fireplace and an attached kitchen make this sophisticated Hunting Valley home perfect for parties of all sizes.
Designed by Cleveland’s own Ernst Payer, this Shaker home was built with, not on, the 1.5 acre grounds, with open spaces within and large windows throughout this 1958 construction. The marble-floored foyer steps down into the living room featuring a fireplace, intricate paneling and a wall of windows with a view of the backyard.
The eat-in kitchen has been fully updated with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, and the banquet-sized dining room leads into a comfortable family room. You’ll find four bedrooms up either of two staircases, including a master suite with an attached terrace and spa bath. The grounds include a private, spacious patio and a separate greenhouse, so you can enjoy nature all year round.
Built in 1954 and designed by E. Keith Haag, this Summit County ranch style home sits on over nine acres bordering Blossom Music Center. The open dining room and living rooms feature a brick accent wall, plus a glass wall with a sliding door that goes out to the scenic grounds, just one of many smooth transitions from inside to outside.
In the back family room, geometric cutout windows top a brick accent wall around the prominent sandstone hearth fireplace, illuminating the wall-to-wall built-in storage and a wall of glass that leads into the porch. The master bedroom suite also features a wall of built-in storage, a luxurious bath, walk-in closets and a glass wall overlooking the courtyard.
As the sculpted exterior courtyards and screened-in porch maintain the coherence of the interior design, the transition from interior to exterior feels completely seamless in this artful home, a perfect mix of functional design and serene scenery.
The striking framework of this Pepper Pike split level attests to its original 1959 construction, and the original spirit has been preserved after being tastefully expanded to nearly 4,000 square feet.
Exposed beams reinforce the scale of the vaulted-ceiling living room, which is further complemented by the floor-to-ceiling brick hearth, and meticulously maintained plank hardwood floors.
The walkout lower level includes a family room, workshop and a window-lined studio or playroom, which looks out over the elevated deck, brick patio, and the private backyard, just part of the 1.25 acre lot.
Designed by local legend Jack Bialosky and built in 1956, this Shaker Boulevard four bedroom still features 4,000 square feet of living space and many of the original architectural details, like the sleek, slate-floored foyer, open plan living room, dining room and kitchen, exposed brick, built-in shelves, and geometric wrought iron detailing throughout. The vaulted ceiling over the living area frames an expansive wall over windows looking out over the in-ground pool and backyard that leads down to the Shaker Heights Country Club.
This four bedroom contemporary ranch style home features an open floor plan dining room and step-down living room with exposed brick, a vaulted ceiling, and a wall of windows that provides breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. The eat-in kitchen also allows views of nature, and the main-floor master suite has an attached balcony. Finally, the finished basement provides a recreation room, a family room with a stone hearth fireplace and direct access to the large, private patio.
A four bedroom Bungalow with a rare floor plan, this contemporary Beachwood home includes a large parquet floored foyer and a unique lofted living room with a stone fireplace. These striking features are magnified by a mirrored accent wall and vaulted ceilings with skylights and contrasting exposed beams. Including two first and two second floor bedrooms, a first floor sunroom, and charming intricacies throughout, this is truly a one-of-a-kind home.
Tucked between a golf course and a nature, this contemporary split-level was originally built in 1956 and has since been extended to over 3,000 square feet. Don’t let its wooded exterior fool you, this three bedroom, five bath home features the key characteristics of modern residential architecture: a mix of differently elevated living spaces, flat lines, and, of course, large, prominent windows that frame the wooded surroundings as the centerpiece in each room.
With its three fireplaces, ample deck and patio space, and the scenic view of the wooded lot and nature preserve, this rustic home has the atmosphere of a peaceful retreat while still providing convenient access to downtown Oberlin and the college campus.
This 1957 ranch style home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac on a desirable street near the metro parks, a perfect location for a family. Listed for sale as-is, this three bedroom could be a great opportunity to revitalize the retro features and add in some more contemporary conveniences. With a vaulted-ceiling living room, a decorative fireplace between the kitchen and living room, and a huge wall of windows overlooking the back deck, this home has an open floor plan perfect for cultivating an integrated interior design.
Surrounded by sculpted grounds and located just one block from popular Coventry attractions, this three bedroom townhouse includes the open concept floor plan, floor to ceiling windows, and functional design elements that epitomize mid-century modern style. You’ll find well-maintained materials throughout, like the original tile floors, exposed brick accent walls and fireplace, and vaulted cedar ceilings. Plus, this home includes access to Mornington Lane amenities such as a heated pool and a club house.
Hey, it’s Ryan Young with The Young Team bringing you an update on the Northeast Ohio Real Estate Market. With the start of the New Year, a lot of people have been asking me, “What will happen in the real estate market this year?” Well, today I’ll be making a few predictions for the 2017 market, as well as recapping 2016.
2 MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM 2016
- Strong 4th Quarter of 2016
We ended the year the way we started it with modestly increasing home value growth and lower inventory to soak up the demand in the market. Ohio’s statewide housing market experienced its busiest November since the Ohio Association of Realtors started tracking sales in 1998 with sales up 12.3 percent over November 2015’s levels. We think we saw this rise based on the healthiest job market in years combined with rising interest rates, which got more buyers moving in the recent months.
- Rising Loan Interest Rates
As we closed out 2016, the biggest news was the Federal Reserve’s increase in mortgage rates for only the second time since 2006. The Fed’s rate-setting board predict there will be three more increases coming in 2017, causing mortgage rates to rise. Typically, when rates start to go up, buyers will come out of the woodwork earlier in the selling season to try to lock in lower rates while they can.
WHAT IS THE MARKET’S 2017’S OUTLOOK? 3 TRENDS WE CAN EXPECT.
- Increased Market Activity
Rates are expected to keep rising in 2017 if the economy continues to improve and inflationary pressures increase. I’m predicting the early part of this year to be filled with a brisk pace of not only homes going under contract more quickly, but also taking less time to reach a settlement date so buyers aren’t subject to their rates expiring before they close on a home.
- Expanding Lending and Loan Limits
Even though rates are on the increase, mortgage credit will likely be more widely available due to slightly looser lending standards by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The increase of the conforming loan limits is the first time these have changed since 2006. Federal Housing Administration loan limits are also expected to increase slightly. Both of these increases reflect rising confidence in consumer ability to repay larger loan amounts and will provide buyers with more options when it comes time to choose a home.
- Growth in Cleveland
With high cost of living in larger cities, more and more our younger generation is attracted to medium-sized cities like Cleveland, which provide housing affordability and a lower cost of living. We’ve been seeing a steady rise in investment and insurgence in city’s urban core over the past six years and millennials seeking cheap rents and lower asking prices are attracted the bustling development of Downtown and the Near West Side. Expect that trend to continue in 2017.
The Cleveland-area market is proving to be a strong market into the New Year, and there is so much momentum from the buyers and the lenders that 2017 should see enough activity to maintain a healthy balance. If you have any other questions about our real estate market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you! Have a great 2017!
Often times, sellers and buyers think that once a home is under contract, the grunt work is over, but typically that is far from true. The buying/selling journey can be a long process and must meet specific agreed upon requirements. If not, the closing may experience delays.
According to a study by the Washington Post, 32% of closings get delayed. Of the third of postponed closings, financing issues triggered 46 percent, appraisal-related problems caused 21 percent of the delays, and home-inspection issues in 14 percent. 90 percent of the time, the buyer is responsible for the delay.
HOME FINANCING SETBACKS
Believe it or not, your credit score can fluctuate enough between loan approval and closing, which could result in the buyer being ineligible for the mortgage. The best way to avoid this is to incur no additional credit during this period, meaning no new car purchases, or any new credit activity at all.
Debt-to-income ratios also can change when an underwriter discovers that a buyer failed to disclose payment obligations such as child support or student loans. To avoid this, disclose absolutely everything to your loan offer. Also make sure you are not doing anything that could affect your qualifying income, such as a sudden job change.
HOME INSPECTION ISSUES
Most real estate transactions have an inspection contingency to ensure the home being purchased doesn’t have any major defects that could cost tons of money in the future.
After a home inspection is completed, the buyer has the opportunity to request repairs be completed or some type of seller concession, in lieu of the repairs. If a seller agrees to make repairs, it’s important that these repairs are done once a buyer receives their mortgage commitment.
If a closing is delayed due to inspections, it’s typically because a seller doesn’t make the agreed upon repairs. You should expect your real estate agent to follow up on the repairs to make sure they are completed well before the closing date so there are no delays.
One way to make sure your home will go through the inspection without a problem is to get a pre-listing inspection by a reputable professional before you list the house on the market. This allows the seller to fix anything important in advance.
UNDER APPRAISED HOME
Problems with a bank appraisal may be a reason your closing gets delayed. The issue normally comes down to the house under appraising for the agreed upon contract price. If the buyer and seller cannot come to new terms, or if the required repairs aren’t made, the deal could fall apart.
As long as your real estate agent is handling the transaction carefully and following up to make sure the appraisal has been completed, the house did in fact appraise, and there were no required repairs, then your closing will clear this contingency.
THE FINAL WALKTHROUGH
The last step before a home closes is the final walk through, which is especially important for the buyer. There are many things that a buyer should be on the look out for at the final walk through.
- Ensure agreed upon repairs are included
- Air conditioning is functioning
- Furnace is functioning
- Utilities are functioning
- Included appliances are functioning
- Toilets are functioning
If any one of these things are not acceptable, the closing will most likely delayed! Since the final walk through typically happens the day prior to the closing or sometimes even on the closing day, it can be extremely frustrating for a buyer. To avoid this, stay on top of the sellers to make sure their keeping their end of the deal, and disclosing if anything could delay the closing at the final walkthrough.
UNREALISTIC CONTRACT DATES
Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s imperative that you have a top realtor representing your interests. One of the most common reasons why a real estate closing is delayed is because of unrealistic contract dates that were agreed upon in the purchase offer. An experienced real estate agent knows how to appropriately structure the dates in a purchase offer to mitigate any prolong closings.
The majority of the time, It takes around 45-60 days for contract to close. This depends on the type of financing a buyer, if the property is bank owned, if the home is paid in cash, if there are a number of contingencies in the purchase offer, and other variables. It’s important to have the expectation that your home will take 1-2 months for closing to occur.
A top real estate professional should know whether the contract dates are realistic or not. For example, if you have a top producing listing agent and you receive a purchase offer with unrealistic contract dates, they will know what questions to ask the buyers agent and also what to advise you to counter in the purchase offer.
REACHING THE FINISH LINE
More often than not the deal will close. There just may need to be a few extra days to reach the finish line. The best option is to grant the buyer a contract extension. An extension to the contract establishes a new closing date that can be met in the future.
The new TRID law that went into affect a little over a year ago has pro-longed the closing timeline, but as long as the guidelines are followed, you can avoid delays. Under TRID, a new settlement statement called a Closing Disclosure must be issued to the borrower at least 3 days prior to closing. If that does not occur, the closing will be delayed for up to 7 days.
Navigating the world of real estate, you’re going to end up coming across all kinds of real estate terminology that you may not be familiar with. Whether it’s your first time buying, or just don’t quite understand something, there is a lot of confusing terms used between real estate professionals.
Knowing what your real estate agent is talking about when they use common real estate terms will make the process smoother, and will also ensure communication is much easier.
Here are 22 basic real estate terms that will allow you to be better informed and involved in any real estate transaction.
- Acceptance: The acceptance is the agreement to the terms of an offer, which then creates a contract. As soon as the seller signs on the dotted line on the purchase agreement, you’re in a binding contract for the sale of the house. Once the contract is signed, neither parties can back out without facing consequences. In the buyer’s case, they will lose the earnest money deposit and in the seller’s case, it could end up in a potential lawsuit.
- Appraisal: The appraisal is the estimated property value, as determined by a qualified appraiser. If a buyer is obtaining a mortgage, lenders require an appraisal of a property before approving the loan. Cash deals don’t require appraisals.
- Buyer’s Agent and Listing Agent: Typically, there are two types of real estate agents that are involved in the home buying process. If you are buying a home, then you will want to be represented by a buyer’s specialist, while the listing agent will represent the seller of the home.
- Closing: The closing date is the scheduled day on which the sale of the property is officially finalized and transferred thereafter. In order to meet the closing date, the buyer must sign all the mortgage documents and pay all closing costs and the seller completes the transaction with the buyer.
- Closing Costs: Closing costs are fees paid at the home closing, which is when the title of a residence is transferred from the seller to the buyer. These costs typically include real estate commissions, escrow fees, document recording fees, lawyer fees, title insurance fees, survey fees, and taxes. These costs can also include the expenses the home has incurred by buyers and sellers during any negotiations.
- Comparative Market Analysis: The best method available to home sellers to learn their home’s current value so they can select the best sale price is a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis. CMA is the term real estate agents use when they conduct an in-depth analysis of a home’s worth in today’s market.
- Contingencies: A contingency is the condition that must be met before the deal can be finalized between the buyer and the seller becomes legally binding.. If the home inspection reveals major problems, then the contingency allows the buyer to walk away from the contract without losing money. A common contingency is the home inspection. Other contingencies can include appraisal contingencies or financing contingency.
- Debt-To-Income (DTI) Ratio: The ratio of monthly debt payments to monthly gross income. Lenders use a housing DTI ratio (house payment divided by monthly income) and a total DTI ratio (total debt payments including the house payment divided by monthly income) to determine whether a buyer qualifies for a mortgage.
- Down Payment: The down payment is the amount of out of pocket money you pay toward a home before your lender provides you with a loan to cover the rest of the purchase amount. Your down payment can vary depending on the type of mortgage you take out. It can be anywhere from 3 percent to 20 percent of the total cost.
- Earnest Money Deposit: The earnest money deposit is the money you provide along with your offer on a house to show good faith. This amount usually accounts for one to two percent of the home’s purchase price. If the sale goes through, the earnest money deposit goes toward the down payment. If the seller rejects the offer, the money goes back to the buyer.
- Escrow: The escrow is a deposit of funds or documents, such as the earnest money deposit, that are held by an escrow agent, or other third party, until the sale goes through. The third party holds the property, cash, and the property title until all conditions of the property agreement have been met.
- Equity: Your home’s equity is the difference between the home’s fair market value, and the unpaid balance of the mortgage. Equity increases over the life of the loan. For example, if your home is worth $100,000, and you owe $50,000 still, the other $50,000 is your equity.
- HUD-1 statement:A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points and initial escrow amounts. A separate number within a standardized numbering system represents each item on the statement. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller’s net proceeds and the buyer’s net payment at closing.
- Home Warranty – Similar to any warranty, sellers and buyers can pay a fee to protect the home against future issues depending on how much their package covers, like plumbing, heating, or appliances.
- Inspection: A home inspection is scheduled after you have made an offer on a home. Some municipalities require an inspection, whereas some do not. The inspector goes through every part of the home to check on the foundation, walls, heating, electricity, plumbing, and appliances to see if they are up to code or need repairs. If the inspector finds something wrong in the home during the inspection, the inspection will fail.
- Lien: A lien is when a legal claim is put on a property in order to receive payment for debt. The holder of the lien can sell the property to recover the money owed.
- Listings: Real estate agents will often refer to homes for sale on the market as listings. These listings include basic information about the home for sale, such as the price, number of bedrooms and square footage.
- Private Mortgage Insurance: PMI allows buyers to put less than a 20 percent down payment on a home. A PMI is an insurance premium paid by the buyer to the lender to protect the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. Once you have 20% equity in the home, this insurance is discontinued.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter: Buyers can get approved for a home loan before they find a property they want to invest in. This lets buyers know how much they can borrow. They can then use the mortgage pre-approval letter to show sellers that they have the proper financing in place to purchase the home. This information is used as an estimate and doesn’t obligate the lender to work with the homebuyer. Most realtors require a pre-approval letter before showing homes to buyers.
- Multiple Listing Service: Otherwise known as the MLS, the Multiple Listing Service is a large database that real estate agents have access to that provides detailed information about most of the properties that are currently on the market, under contract, or have sold.
- Realtor®: Don’t make the mistake of thinking a Realtor is the same thing as a real estate agent. Not all real estate agents are Realtors; only those that are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) can call themselves Realtors.
- Title and Title Insurance: Title is the legal term that identifies a piece of property that the owner is in lawful possession of that property. The title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience due to liens, encumbrances, or defects.