Don’t Let Fall Pass You By: Selling in the “Off-Season”

A very common misconception in the real estate market today is that if you missed the spring selling season than you missed your shot for the year. When summer ends and schools start up again people assume the market slows down because families are settling in for the season, and are not as inclined to move. This may have been true in the past, but things have changed. People are living longer and settling down later in life. Today buyers are not timing their purchases around the same schedules they have traditionally been known to follow.

Thanks to the Internet, a lot of home-shopping begins online. Buyers are saving time and multitasking more efficiently by starting their search online and at their own convenience. As a result, the time of the year that use to be known as a real estate dead zone is seeing its fair share of the action. Of course, Spring will always be the busier, but when other agents and sellers are taking some down time, seize the moment and throw up that for sale sign you’ve been holding on to. You won’t regret it.

Buyers are always out there and the serious buyers are looking year round no matter what time of the year it is. Some buyers even prefer to move in the winter because their personal schedules have slowed down for a period of time. You will also find less competition if you list during the fall because of the traditional mindset about real estate and this season. You will notice the market isn’t as saturated with sellers as it still is with buyers, giving your house the opportunity to soak up the lime light.

Don’t put your real estate plans on hold just because the seasons are changing. Grab the opportunity others are passing up and put your house in front of a market full of buyers at a time when there’s less inventory.

5 Things to do FIRST as a First-Time Homebuyer

If you’re considering buying a home for the first time in the near future then it’s time to get your finances in order! You can avoid the many stressors first-time homebuyers face by taking preemptive action before the big purchase.


  1. Obtain a copy of your credit report.

One of the first things that lenders assess in a homebuyer is their credit. Your credit will be evaluated based on your FICO score. Ordering a copy of your credit report will help you get an idea of where you stand. offers one free credit report each year through one of three national credit-reporting agencies on their site. Knowing this information will also help you when looking around to apply for a loan.


  1. Take care of any discrepancies on your credit report.

Any inaccurate information in your credit report can negatively impact your credit score. You can file a dispute with the credit reporting agency for free if any information on your report in incorrect. Having your accounts in good standing will positively reflect on your credit score so be sure to reduce your debt by paying off the minimum balances on time.


  1. Know what you can afford.

Your mortgage principal and interest payments should not be more than 36 percent of your gross monthly income. Planning to spend between 25 percent and 33 percent of your gross monthly income is a good place to start. Mortgage lenders commonly agree paying between 28 percent and 36 percent of your gross income in total debt service is where you should be. Mortgage interest rates are likely to climb before returning to the normal 6 percent or 7 percent and could affect how much you can afford; so remember, keep a close eye on them.


  1. Set savings goal.

When you know what you can afford the next step should be figuring out how much you need to save. For down payments you will need 3.5 percent, in cash, of the purchase price for an FHA home.

Reducing unnecessary daily expenses can save you big time each month.


  1. Read up on current lending guidelines, and gather all the information you need to present to a lender.

Having all of your documentation together will make applying for your home loan much easier. Forms such as your W2, federal tax forms from the previous 2 or 3 years, a months worth of pay stubs, and copies of bank statements are documents to get organized now. You can find current copies of lending guidelines online for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Federal Housing Administration.


By gathering your documents and getting yourself organized now you can avoid the usual hassles that come with buying a home.

5 Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense — and 5 That Don’t

5 Remodels That Make Good Resale Value Sense — and 5 That Don’t

Looking to make a change around the house? Take a look at this first, and make sure you know whether you are doing this remodel for yourself, or for resale value only. Try to strike a balance between the two.