What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs | Simplifying The Market

What Buyers Need to Know About HOAs

When searching for a home, you may end up selecting a property in a community with a Homeowners Association (HOA). Before you buy, it’s important to know how an HOA works and what they mean for you.

According to a recent article on realtor.com,

“In a nutshell, an HOA helps ensure that your community looks its best and functions smoothly…The number of Americans living in homes with HOAs is on the rise, growing from a mere 1% in 1970 to 25% today, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research.”

An HOA is governed by a board nominated by those living in the neighborhood. It is designed to make sure the residents have a support structure to maintain the value of the community while abiding by a set of guidelines called Common Restrictive Covenants (CC&R),

“Simply put, CC&Rs are just the rules you’ll have to follow if you live in that community. Unlike zoning regulations, which are government-imposed requirements on how land can be used, restrictive covenants are established by HOAs to maintain the attractiveness and value of the property.”

It’s important for homeowners to understand that each HOA is a little different, and they usually have monthly or quarterly fees required for homeowners. These fees can vary based on property size, number of residents, amenities, and more. There may be additional fees charged to homeowners if the reserve fund for the HOA cannot cover a major or unexpected cost, like severe storm damage.

The fees, however, also help maintain common areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, elevators (for high-rise buildings), and regular wear and tear. Although they are an added cost to the homeowner, an HOA can be a major benefit when it comes to maintaining the value of your neighborhood and your property.

The same article continues to say,

“After your offer to buy a home is accepted, you are legally entitled to receive and review the community’s CC&Rs over a certain number of days (typically between three and 10)…If you spot anything in the restrictive covenants you absolutely can’t live with, you can bring it up with the HOA board or just back out of your contract completely (and keep your deposit).”

Most lenders will factor your HOA fees into your loan package, ensuring the amount of the loan is appropriate for what you can truly afford.

There are some great benefits to having an HOA oversee your neighborhood, and it’s important to understand what fees, structures, and regulations will come into play if there is an HOA where you’d like to live.

Bottom Line

When you’re looking at a potential property to buy, let’s get together so you have a professional who can help you understand the neighborhood’s HOA structure and fees. This way, you’ll feel confident and fully informed when buying a home.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range | Simplifying The Market

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range

Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. CoreLogic analyzed four individual home prices tiers and shares the increase in each one.

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed,

National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.

They also analyzed four individual home-price tiers, showing the increase in each.

Here’s the breakdown:

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range | Simplifying The MarketTo clarify the methodology, CoreLogic explains,

“The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and 100% of the median (low-to-middle price), homes priced between 100% and 125% of the median (middle-to-moderate price) and homes priced greater than 125% of the median (high price).”

What does this mean if you’re selling?

Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. If you’re a homeowner thinking of selling, let’s get together to find out how much your home is increasing in value, so you can price it competitively for today’s market.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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6 Graphs Showing the Strength of the Current Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC]

6 Graphs Showing the Strength of the Current Housing Market [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • Keeping an eye on the current status of the housing market is one of the best ways to make powerful and confident decisions when buying or selling a home.
  • Mortgage rates remaining near historic lows and houses selling in an average of only 29 days are just two key elements driving the strength of today’s market.
  • With the national data shown here, make sure to also determine what’s happening in your local market so you are fully informed when you’re ready to make your next move.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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Millennial Buying Power Poised to Boost Homeownership | Simplifying The Market

Millennial Buying Power Poised to Boost Homeownership

In a recent article by Realtor Magazine, Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First American Financial Corporation, notes,

“The largest group of millennials by birth year will turn 30 in 2020, which puts them entering their prime homebuying years”.

The article continues to describe how millennials have more buying-power than the generations that preceded them, making their interest in embracing homeownership stronger than ever,

“Millennials—the most educated generation—have the highest incomes across their generational cohorts, even when salaries are adjusted for inflation.”

This combination of power and desire has the potential to drive positive growth in the homeownership rate heading into the near future. According to Fleming,

‘“The gap between the potential and actual homeownership in 2018 narrowed slightly as the growth in homeownership modestly exceeded the increase in potential demand,” he says, citing First American’s Homeownership Progress Index.

“We expect the homeownership rate to further close the gap with potential in the years ahead as millennials continue to make important decisions, such as attaining an education and, later in life, getting married and having children.”’

That said, the shortage of sellable inventory in the entry and mid-range levels that’s attractive to potential millennial buyers may be a contributing factor as to why many millennials haven’t yet purchased a home. According to another recent report citing Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic,

“Lower rates are certainly making it more affordable to buy homes and millennial buyers are entering the market with increasing force. These positive demand drivers, which are occurring against a backdrop of persistent shortages in housing stock, are the major drivers for higher home prices, which will likely continue to rise for the foreseeable future.”

With millennials aging-up into mortgage-ready and home-buying territory, along with their strong buying interest and buying power, this generation is poised and ready to have positive impact on homeownership rates across the country. Many of them just need to find a home they’re excited to buy in this competitive end of the market.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling, let’s connect and determine if now is a great time for you to list your house and move-up. More millennials are getting ready to jump into the market and join the ranks of homeownership, so demand for homes in the starter and mid-level range will continue to be strong.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold | Simplifying The Market

The Role Access Plays in Getting Your House Sold

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process and you’ve been asked what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access you can provide to your agent to be able to show your home.

Here are five levels of access you can provide to a buyer, each with a brief description:

  • Lockbox on the Door – This allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  • Providing a Key to the Home – Although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  • Open Access with a Phone Call – The seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
  • By Appointment Only – Example: 48-hour notice. Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  • Limited Access – Example: the home is only available for a couple of hours a day. This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020 | Simplifying The Market

Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020

Freddie MacFannie Maeand the Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting home sales will increase nicely in 2020.

Below is a chart depicting the projections of each entity for 2019, as well as for 2020.Home Sales Expected to Continue Increasing In 2020 | Simplifying The MarketAs we can see, Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe homes sales will increase steadily over the next year. If you’re a homeowner who has considered selling your house recently, now may be the best time to put it on the market.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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5 Reasons to Sell This Fall | Simplifying The Market

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase…and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple years, for fear that they would not find a home to move to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time needed to close a loan is 43 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that in the luxury or premium market.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream | Simplifying The Market

Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream

On Labor Day we celebrate the hard work that helps us achieve the American Dream.

Growing up, many of us thought about our future lives with great ambition. We drew pictures of what jobs we wanted to have and where we would live as a representation of a secure life for ourselves and our families. Today we celebrate the workers that make this country a place where those dreams can become a reality.

According to Wikipedia,

Labor Day honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country.”

The hard work that happens every day across this country allows so many to achieve the American Dream. The 2019 Aspiring Home Buyers Profile by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says,

“Approximately 75% of non-homeowners believe homeownership is part of their American Dream, while 9 in 10 current homeowners said the same.”

Looking at the number of non-owners, you may wonder, ‘If they believe in homeownership, why haven’t they bought a home yet?’. Well, increasing home prices and low inventory can be part of the reason why some haven’t jumped in, but that does not mean there is a lack of interest. The same report shows the increase in the desire to buy in the last year (as shown in the graph below):Homeownership Will Always Be a Part of the American Dream | Simplifying The MarketAs we can see, there are more and more people each quarter who want to buy a home. The good news is, as more inventory comes to the market, more non-homeowners will be able to fulfill their dreams. Finally, they’ll be able to move into that home they drew when they were little kids!

Bottom Line

If you’re a homeowner considering selling, this fall might be the right time, as there are buyers in the market ready to buy. Let’s get together to determine how you can benefit from the pent-up housing demand.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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Top Priorities When Moving with Kids | Simplifying The Market

Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more.

Recently, the 2019 Moving with Kids Report from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) studied “the different purchasing habits as well as seller preferences during the home buying and selling process.” This is what they found:

When Purchasing a Home

The major difference between the homebuyers who have children and those who do not is the importance of the neighborhood. In fact, 53% said the quality of the school district is an important factor when purchasing a home, and 50% select neighborhoods by the convenience to the schools.

Buyers with children also purchase larger, detached single-family homes with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms at approximately 2,110 square feet.

Furthermore, 26% noted how childcare expenses delayed the home-buying process and forced additional compromises: 31% in the size of the home, 24% in the price, and 18% in the distance from work.

When Selling a Home

Of those polled, 23% of buyers with children sold their home “very urgently,” and 46% indicated “somewhat urgently, within a reasonable time frame.” Selling with urgency can pressure sellers to accept offers that are not in their favor. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR explains,

“When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial, but in some cases – such as facing an upcoming school year or the outgrowing of a home – sellers find themselves rushed and forced to accept a less than ideal offer.”

For sellers with children, 21% want a real estate professional to help them sell the home within a specific time frame, 20% at a competitive price, and 19% to market their home to potential buyers.

Bottom Line

Buying or selling a home can be driven by different priorities when you are also raising a family. If you’re a seller with children and looking to relocate, let’s get together to navigate the process in the most reasonable time frame for you and your family.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

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What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | Simplifying The Market

What’s the Latest on Interest Rates?

Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at near-historic lows. This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their money in the current housing market.
What’s the Latest on Interest Rates? | Simplifying The Market
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,

the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016.

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, notes how this is great news for homebuyers. He states,

“…consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

As a potential buyer, the best thing you can do is work with a trusted advisor who can help you keep a close eye on how the market is changing. Relying on current expert advice is more important than ever when it comes to making a confident and informed decision for you and your family.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home is on your short list of goals to achieve, let’s get together to determine your best move.

screenshot-from-2019-03-10-19-15-46

 Samuel Spinella                                                                                                                               Realtor                                                                                                                                                             SRES                                                                                                                                                                   Intero                                                                                                                                                   Sunnyvale CA                                                                                                                                             408-393-9294

As a professional in the real estate industry over the past twelve years, I’ve built my reputation on providing outstanding service to my clients. In these times of dynamic market movement, I believe the most important thing I can do is to communicate how the current market influences your ability to achieve your personal and financial goals. As a Realtor, I continually educate myself on market trends and real estate changes that create opportunity for my clients.

Sam

You might also enjoy reading…

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