Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Haverford Homes For Sale Move In Condition

Jim & Deborah Brady
Century21 Alliance
610-853-2700 ext:416
Cell: 610-613-3381
website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com
email: bradyscentury21@gmail.com

The following homes for sale in Havertown are new listings ending 9/16/2012 and are listed as  move in condition. Contact The BradyHomeTeam for more information on these homes.

400 Glendale Road  Unit G30     Havertown, Pa.    
3 Bdrm 2 Bath Condo           $135,000
Courtesy of Prudential Fox & Roach

2728 Chestnut     Ardmore, Pa.   
 4 Bdrm 2 Bath Twin               $225,000
Courtesy of Keller Williams

210 S Manoa Rd     Havertown, Pa    
3 Bdrm 2 Bath Twin                 $234,900
Courtesy of Prudential Fox & Roach

123 E Marthart Rd     Havertown, Pa     
4 Bdrm 1 Bath Twin                  $249,900
Courtesy of Century21 Alliance

1312 Center Rd     Drexel Hill, Pa    
3 Bdrm 2 Bath Cape Cod            $299,000
Courtesy of Century21 Alliance

1629 Mt Pleasant Rd     Havertown, Pa     
3 Bdrm 1 Bath 2 Pwdr Rm      Split/MultiL     $309,900
Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Preferred

1731 Hawthorne Ave     Havertown, Pa 
4 Bdrm 2 Bath 2 Pwdr RmColonial                  $335,000
Courtesy of ASSRDRE

403 Hastings Ave     Havertown, Pa    
3 Bdrm  2 Bath 1 Pwdr Rm Colonial                 $350,000
Courtesy of REMAX Main Line

303 Bewley Rd     Havertown, Pa    
6 Bdrm     2 Bath 1 Pwdr Rm Colonial               $489,900
Courtesy of Duffy Real Estate

630 Foxfields Rd   Bryn Mawr, Pa  
4 Bdrm     2 Bath 1 Pwdr Rm Farmhouse            $669,000
Courtesy of Prudential Fox & Roach



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Working With A Real Estate Agent-Buyer's Agent

Buying a home is exciting and terrifying. It’s one of the largest purchases you will ever make.
You have a lot of decisions to make, the first one being your choice of an agent.
Trust is essential between the agent and the client. Always tell the agent the truth about what you need in a home and what you are comfortable spending. Never tell the agent you want to spend more than you have been preapproved for by your mortgage company. Expect the agent to spend some time with you reviewing your financial situation and to speak with your mortgage lender. Often a good agent will recommend you spend less than you have been approved for and will help you find a home that meets that criteria. We are extremely proud that none of our clients have ever found themselves in a short sale or foreclosure situation. It is always our goal to help you find a home that does not strain your budget to the point of breaking.
Your agent should be available by phone, text and email. Don’t sign a contract with an agent who doesn’t answer your calls, texts and emails promptly. While agents are often out of the office showing homes, attending inspections and closings, there should be a clear understanding of the time frame in which you can expect a return call.
Understand agency. Read and ask your agent to explain the consumer notice http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/049/chapter35/s35.336.html
The agent you select to work with literally becomes your“agent” in the process of buying a home. While all parties are by law required to deal with each other in an honest way, your agent has your best interest as their first responsibility. When making an offer, negotiating terms, understanding the inspection report and helping you get to the settlement table, we help you understand contracts and allow you to make the decisions. Our business model is to be sure that the client has as much information as possible. If there is ever anything that you do not understand, we are here to help.
Mutual respect is crucial to getting the best from your agent.
Be on time for appointments. Let the agent know if you are unable to make an appointment so that they can reschedule the homes on the tour.
Believe that your agent is working for you and not for themselves. Agents work on commission only, but if you feel that the agent is pushing you towards doing something you do not want to do in order to collect the commission, YOU NEED A DIFFERENT AGENT.
Call, text or email us for more information or to set up an interview. We want your business and are willing to work hard for it. Go to our website to see what we are about and tons of information on our selling areas.

Jim & Deborah Brady
Century21 Alliance
610-853-2700 ext 416
website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Homes For Sale In Haverford Moderately Priced

Jim & Deborah Brady
Century 21 Alliance
Licensed In Pa & De
Pennsylvania Office
1100 West Chester Pike Havertown,Pa
610-853-2700 Ext:416
Cell: 610-613-3381
Delaware Office
2940 Concord Road Aston, Pa
610-497-3400 Ext: 202
Direct: 302-378-3167

website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com

email: bradyscentury21@gmail.com

These homes for sale in haverford courtesy of Trend MLS are new listings and are moderately priced to sell. They appeal to the client who wants to get into a good school district in a growing and popular township at a reasonable cost. Sure, you may have to do some updating but in the long run it should work for the client looking to generate equity.

2731 Saint Marys Rd
1336 Harrington Rd
129 Warrior Rd

6104990   RES   ACT 10422 1747 West Chester Pike 9   $250,000       3     2/1    RTC Condo   

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jim Brady's Best Mac & Cheese

Hi: This is a variation of my mother's Mac & Cheese that she cooked for a family of 10 for many years. The basics are Nan's with a little tweak from me with love.

1 lb elbow or ziti pasta cooked medium in salted water

4tablespoons butter
4tablespoons flour
6 cups of milk
1 can of chedder cheese soup
8oz. of vermont chedder
8oz. of cream cheese
1 cup if diced tomatoes
dash of salt, pepper, onion powder

16oz. sharp chedder cheese cut in strips

In a large pan heat the butter to melt and whisk in the flour until mixed throughly. Add the milk and heat  while adding the rest of the ingredients stirring each in seperately. Leave the cream cheese till last. Bring the temp up to just below simmer. Do not boil the sauce as it will burn.

Pour the sauce over the drained pasta in a large baking pan with high sides to just below the top. Layer the top with strips of chedder cheese covering completely. Sprinkle with parmesian cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until the top starts to brown.  Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Hope you enjoy this family favorite of the Brady's


Monday, April 25, 2011

How To Handle The Stress Of Selling Your Home

Ok, So You Read All The Online Tips On Selling Your Home, Watched an untold number of real estate shows, followed your realtor's advice to get ready, exhausted yourself over a couple of months getting ready, and your home did not sell quickly like you had hoped.  Now What?

The main thing you can do is stay positive. Someone is going to buy your home. You may not get what you had hoped but someone will buy it,  believe this.  You just need the right buyer. One that will appreciate what you are offering and will enjoy living there as much as you have.

Look at the bright side. Your home now shines, is cleaner and decluttered more than all the time you have lived there, you have fixed all the little things that you have lived with for years, and it looks like a magazine home. Enjoy it. Once it has been cleaned throughly all it takes is a quick pickup and dust mopping to show at a half hours notice.

You get to go out more now during the showings for those little dinners and can go  to the dog park with your pet more often.  You really appreciate those morning and evenings on the patio now that they are numbered and will miss some of the nicer things your home offered.

When you get down think of the new path you are about to enter on your new life and how exciting it will be. New people, things, and places to explore. Nothing is more fun than exploring a new area. It is like a vacation that goes on for a long time. Me, I think of the look on my wife's face when we were down in our new area and we got blasted by a cool wind coming off the water. It was pure joy and will carry me through any hard times that might pop up during our sale.

A good Attitude and Focus will carry you through. Do Not get down on yourself or your home.


Monday, March 21, 2011

The Days Of The Instant Mortgage Pre Approval Are Over

Everyone in real estate remembers having your clients call up the mortgage company to get an instant over the phone mortgage pre-approval.  Those days are over. The lender faxed the approval to the agent and clint immediately or within a few hours. We then submitted that mortgage preapproval with the agreement of sale as proof that our clients were solid buyers and had already started down the road of financing. That and a buyer's financial showed the seller we had a mortgage in the works and had the funds to get to closing. The letter was couched in all the mortgage industry marketing language like " We are happy to be of service and now you can go out shopping for the home of your dreams assured that Happy Mortgage Company will be with you every step of the way" and lines like that.

Welcome to 2011 where the reality is the mortgage company will run a credit check on the client first to see how strong there history is and then give out mortgage advice based squarely on the client's income and recurring monthly debt and how much the buyer is able to put down on the transaction.  The full pre-approval letter will take 2 to 4 weeks to be generated after you submit the required items.

The mortgage company will require the last two years tax returns and copies of your current pay stubs, the last 3 months bank statements, and copies of any annuitys, 401k, or investment company statements. They will want a detailed list of your recurring monthly bills.

As realtors we are happy overall with these changes. Yes, it is tougher to get a mortgage for your clients but once the client gets a full pre-approval letter you have a much better chance of the transaction actually getting to settlement. The number of transactions running into mortgage problems for the buyers have grown dramatically the last year because the underwriters who must approve the loans are demanding all of the above items.  The initial contact with a mortgage company has a job and that is to bring in clients to their company. They then turn it over to a processor who gets it to the underwriter and they have the final say on the approval. 

The new mindset of the mortgage companies hurts the first time home buyers the most because they as a group had less money saved and weaker credit scores. It effects everyone though because if the first time home buyers cannot get financing the people selling their homes cannot move on with their life and change their living conditions.  People moving up to bigger homes, work transfers, estate sales, empty nesters, seniors looking for a different style of home to age in, we are all being influenced by the first time home buyer's inability to get financing. This housing recovery will continue to be weak until more financing is available.

We spoke with a mortgage  counselor the other day and they were looking for a minimum credit score of 680 and would issue a mortgage on 45% of the cash left after paying your monthly recurring bills.  A $200,000 mortgage at 5% is roughly $1,000. If you have $3000 of disposable income left after paying your recurring bills 45% of that is $1350 to work with.

FHA requires 3.5% down and will finance some of the closing costs but a traditional mortgage wants 10 to 20% down and the settlement cash also. We had clients who mortgaged 100% of the cost of the home with no money down and had a gift letter from family for the settlement cost. The lenders could not write these loans fast enough. The boom times numbers are quite different from today's reality.

So be prepared to bring all these items to the table. Have a little cash saved. Be forthright in the information you provide to your agents and mortgage company and go into the deal with your eyes wide open knowing what you need to provide.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Not Your Grandmother's Lamb Tavern Anymore In Springfield Pa

Everyone around here knows the lamb tavern. It dates back to the original license applied for in 1740  http://www.lambtavern.com/CONTACTS.html  and always had the reputation as a conservative  restuarant that catered to an older clientel. The food was solid but unspectacular. Well they closed some of the areas down for a rehab while keeping the bar open and are now open for business.

We went to a food tasting there Friday night and it was quite pleasant. Our party of four were served drinks as soon as we sat down and the food was served withing 15 minutes. They have a nice selection of beer on tap, a formidable wine list and a great martini bar.

Appetizers were lobster cheese macaroni and fried calamari with a spicey asian sauce. The macaroni was delicious with large chunks of lobster in a creamy sauce and the spicy sauce dressed up the calamari which was a little dull and rubbery.

The main courses were sesame seed encrusted fresh tuna on a rice bed,  New England style pot roast on mashed potatoes with brown gravy, an alfredo pasta, and crispy fried chicken served on mashed potatoes.  Everything was delicious. Their mashed potatoes had us moaning and each dish had it's own unique attraction, whether a gravy, sauce or crust. All the dishes were excellent and we all had a sampling of each.

Desert was an apple crisp that was outstanding with ice cream on top and a creme brulee that was decent but not outstanding.  The apple was a deep dish cobbler with a crust of butter, flour and spices that went well with the vanilla ice cream.

The room we were in was not the new one but it was quiet and pleasant and our server though inexperienced was trying hard and was very pleasant and helpful.  We were served start to finish in under an hour which is my criteria for a good restuarant. They have been shut down since January and according to their site http://www.lambtavern.com/ are hiring all new staff.

Charles Pastore ( formerly of Carraba's)  was our host and he was working that room like a pro and made an effort to stop at every table and great everyone personally like old friends. He made us all feel welcome and we look forward to going back.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How To Get Your Home Ready To Sell In Havertown Pa.

We sell real estate in Havertown Pa and you would be amazed at how many homes do not show well. Here we will guide you through the process of making your home look clean and uncluttered so potential buyers can envision themselves in your home.

1. Concentrate on one room a day cleaning and painting it if it needs paint. Nothing helps a home shine like fresh paint.It is cheap ( home depot sells Glidden paint for $17 a gallon) and gets you a good return.  Clean and dust throughly. Put some polish or refinisher on the wood floors and shampoo the carpets.

2. Remove all the clutter in a room. Put away all those personal pictures and clear the tables of all but a couple things.  Remove one piece of furniture from a room and rearrange the furniture to maximize it's space. Open the window treatments to let in the light and have the lights on for showings.

3. Rent a storage unit and box up all the extra things you have in the cupboards, closets, basement and attic. Box up half the things in your closets so buyers will be impressed with your closet space. You want your basement, attic, and garage almost empty. Leave a few things to have a theme for each room. e.g. If your basement is unfinished clear it out. Paint the walls and floor and have a couple pieces of exercise equipment ( yes you will have to stop using them to dry clothes on ) with a small table with some bottled water on it and a few towels and a small rug or exercise mat.  You have changed your dark, drab basement into an excercise room that the buyers can appreciate.  Have just a few things in the attic to show all the space available to store things. Have the garage cleaned out and perhaps a small workbench with a few tools on a pegboard to show it as your workspace.

4. The front of your home is very important. That is the first thing buyers see.  Replace or paint that old wooden door. Paint all your exterior wood around the door.  Have some lights lining the path to your home with some flowers. Keep the flowers spaced out and remove or trim down large bushes close to the home.
Nothing dates a home like those huge evergreen type bushes or trees blocking the view of the home. Freshly mulch and clean up the whole time you are showing.

5. Walk around your home like an inspector would looking for defects. Fix all the small things you have been living with and have a professional look at the big defects.  You want to show the inspector and buyer this is a well cared for home. The imperfections are not going to go away so be proactive and deal with them early.

6. Have your dog out of the home for showings. Some buyers are fearful of dogs and will not even come in if one is loose in the home. Nothing ruins a showing more than a noisy dog barking in a cage or back yard while you are looking at a home.

7. Have pictures of your garden on display as well as a flyer depicting all the strong points.  Have a neighborhood book about the schools, local organiations, parks, playgrounds, etc on the table.

8.Most buyers are looking for a home on the web so make sure your home is listed in the realtor's multiple listing service, realtor.com, the realtor's company and personal website, zillow.com and maybe craig's list. Have some broker's opens for realtors and public opens and advertise them both on the web and with direct mailings. You are trying to get the word out and the first couple weeks of advertising are very important.

9. Most importantly price your home reasonably. Do not be the highest priced home in the neighborhood.  Look at the comps for the homes on the market but more importantly look at the settled comps to see what sellers are actually getting.  It is better to be a moderately priced home on a great street then the highest priced home on a weaker street.  Look at the competition. Have your realtor take you out to a few homes in the price range you want to be and frankly break down your home in comparison to those. Go to the open houses in your neighborhood to get tips on showing and marketing materials.

Follow these guidlines and you will vastly improve the chances of selling your home. No one wants to be sitting on the market for a year. Put some effort and a small amount of money into your home and sell it and move on with your life.

Please contact me or my wife and partner Deborah if we can guide you through this process. It is a no obligation contact. We would be happy to help you with your showings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Much Less Than Asking Price Does a Home Sell For?

That is a tough question that really varies on many things. Each home is different but the average in Haverford Pa. is 5 to 7% less than the original asking price. Here are the variances that will determine the final price.

1. Condition Of The Home & Price Relative To The Competition. If a home is move in condition, meaning everything has been upgraded recently and you just have to unpack and start enjoying your home that property is going to get close to it's asking price or a little more if more than one bid is on the home. It has to be priced within it's competition though. The seller cannot say " I have a great home and put $20,000 into it so my home is worth $20,000 more than the top priced home." Your home will not appraise if a buyer agrees to a high price. The appraisers look for comparables within a mile. They have to have settled at that price. If the home does not appraise the buyer can withdraw from the transaction. So normally the seller has to reduce the price to sell it at the appraised value anyway. You also will reduce the traffic of buyers who are intimidated by the high price.

2. Time on the market. This is related to condition of the home and pricing. A move in might go the first week on the market if it is priced right. A home that has a major negative like needing the basement dug up and repoured or waterproofed or a new roof or electric might sit for quite a while without any serious offers. The seller might be trying to get top dollar regardless of the negative, feeling it is still a strong home. After living with a problem in a home, over the years it becomes less important and the owner loses sight of it's importance on the value of the home. I know we have a particular skylight that drips when the rain is blown a certain direction that I have been moving down on my list of repairs as the years go by. Each month a home sits on the market it loses more of it's buyer base. Everyone that is interested in the home has already seen it and only a major price drop will bring them back in. So that home might be reduced 2 or 3 times at $5,000 or $10,000 at a pop. A home that started at $350,000 might be down to $330,000 after six months on the market so it is already down more than 5%. Now most buyers interested in the home will offer $10 or $15k less if a home has been on for quite a while because they feel there will be no other buyers to compete with. Naturally the seller will come back with a counter unless they are under a lot of pressure to get the transaction completed.

3. Short Sales & Foreclosures. These homes typically get substantially less than their competitors because the sellers are distressed financially or the bank owns the title now and wants to get it off of their books. They usually are sold "as is" meaning they will not fix anything the inspector finds. Even the township inspection is sometimes stipulated as the buyer's responsibility. These homes may need major updating since the funds available to keep them updated were not there. Buyers typically drop down 10 to 20% off of the latest asking price. The negotiations will be long and arduous as the bank tries to get the best price for it's asset. They could drag on for months instead of a matter of days in a normal transaction.

So know going in what similar homes to the one you are purchasing are on the market for and what they actually settled for. An informed client is the strongest client to deal with. Sellers react differently to lower offers. Some accept it as a business tool and some get insulted and have a knee jerk reaction. Even the agent's preconception of the home's worth may have a bearing. We have had agents tell us not to even bother bringing in a low offer but they should have the courtesy to check with their clients first before they make that decision.

One other factor determines the offer. If the buyer is sure that is their dream home and knows they are not going to find another like it anytime soon we advise them to give the seller what they are asking. A few thousand dollars over a thirty year mortgage is not going to have a huge impact.

Century21 Alliance Jim & Deborah Brady

610-853-2700 Ext 416


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chang Mai Restaurant In Conshohocken Pa. A Nice Stop To Relax At

We went to Chang Mai http://www.mychiangmaicuisine.com/ Fayette St in Conshohocken last night and it was very pleasant. It is cozy ( about 20 small tables) and is a BYOB.The decor is pleasant and the noise was muted. The staff was courteous and sat us quickly and we had our food in about 15 minutes. Prices were reasonable between $12 and $15 for entrees at dinner time and I believe they have a luncheon special. I had drunken noodles and they were spicey and delicious. There were six of us so the entrees ranged from a Sweet Pineapple Chicken dish to the 3 pepper rating Bold & Spicey Shrimp. Everyone loved the food with no negative comments. We had a birthday cake with us and the server put it in the fridge for us and brought it out at the end of the meal and some of the diners joined in on our Happy Birthday Song. Overall it was great and we would go back again.

Back to top

GreenEggs Cafe In South Philly. An ecclectic menu worth the trip

Went to the GreenEggs Cafe in the 1300 block of Dickenson for lunch and it was outstanding. http://greeneggscafe.net/ is their website and you can download the menu. Read about it in Craig Lebain's article in the Philly Inquirer. They serve breakfast all day and have some interesting items on the menu. I had a cheesesteak that was not your normal South Philly one. It was chipped rib eye with carmalized onions, arugula mayonnaise, Gruyere béchamel, on a grilled ciabatta roll with fennel slaw. lol I told you not your regular sandwich. It was off the charts.

My wife had a cheeseburger that was better than one we had on Rittenhouse Square recommended in Food & Wine Magazine and half the price. We had house fries and sweet potatoe fries as our sides. How about this one.

Kobe slider trio 9.5

Blue cheese, maple glazed bacon • shiitake mushrooms, white cheddar • quail egg, arugula and truffle oil The menu is at http://greeneggscafe.net/GreenEggsCafe-BL-menus.pdf

It was about 15 tables, clean and quiet with helpfull staff and the food was on the table in about 10 minutes. We were there after lunch on a weekday but I heard on the weekends there is a line outside.

There breakfast looks fantastic. How about

The kitchen sink 8.5

Two eggs with cheese, our signature potato, choice of breakfast meat topped with homemade jumbo biscuit and sausage gravyin a cast-iron skillet


Crème brulee French toast 9

Vanilla bean custard, Fresh berry compote, drizzled with vanilla anglaise warm 100% maple syrup and topped with Chantilly cream


Breakfast burrito 8

Flour tortilla with eggs, olives, corn, chorizo sausage, signature potato, tex mex cheese, topped with Pico de Gallo, sour cream, avocado,

and fire roasted red pepper black bean sauce

Not your everyday coffee shop. I would go back again in a minute. Price was $25 for lunch with 2 drinks for the two of us.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What Is An FHA Loan And Why Are They So Popular?

FHA does not make loans. Rather, it insures loans made by private lenders. The first step in obtaining an FHA loan is to contact several lenders and/or mortgage brokers and ask them if they originate FHA loans. Believe me, In this market you will be hard pressed to find a lender who does not write FHA loans. It is a no brainer for the lender. They write the loan, have it insured by the FHA and still get to charge interest and fees for writing the loan. If the buyer defaults on the loan they are covered.

Most lenders are requiring 10% down plus a credit score of at least 650 plus the closing costs. On a $300,000 home that is $30,000 down plus around $18,000 closing costs. How many first time buyers do you know with $48,000 available? The interest rate is around 5.25 right now and you would also have to pay PMI insurance that insures the lender gets his money if you default.

If you qualify for a FHA loan you only need 3.5% down and can finance some of the closing costs. On the $300,000 home that is around $10,500 for the down payment and $9000 if you finance half the closing cost for a total of $19,500 versus $48,000 for a conventional loan. If you have strong credit you can also beat that 5.25 interest rate and eliminate the PMI insurance since the FHA is insuring the loan.

FHA has more than doubled the number of mortgages given in the last three years and is now 30 percent of the

housing market’s mortgages. In 2007, FHA issued 400,000 loans and last year, two million were issued.

This trend is evident throughout our three local counties; Chester, Delaware andMontgomery. In 2009, 28.7% of homes purchased in these three counties used FHA

financing. Compare this to only 5.3% who used FHA financing in 2007 in this same area.

FHA had a reputation in the past for causing headaches for the sellers with a seperate inspection but they have eased up on some of their requirements. A typical home inspection is much more thorough than an FHA one. FHA just uses a checklist while a home inspector goes over the home from top to bottom. We have not seen any deals broken down by an unreasonable FHA home inspection.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion surrounding an FHA loan. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Century21 Alliance

Jim & Deborah Brady Realtors

Licensed in Pa #RS276048

Office: 610-853-2700 Ext. 416

Direct: 610-853-8416

Cell: 610-613-3381

Fax: 610-853-4835

Website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com

Our Blog Pages: http://yourrealestatequestionsanswered.blogspot.com/



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Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Is A Short Sale?

A short sale is a transaction in which the lender, or lenders, agrees to accept less than the mortgage amount owed by the current homeowner. In some cases, the difference is forgiven by the lender, and in others the homeowner must make arrangements with the lender to settle the remainder of the debt. Yes even after your transaction is done unless it is specified in writing as part of the contract a lender can pursue you years later for the balance of the loan.

Why is the number of short sales rising?

Due to the recent economic crisis, including rising unemployment, and drops in home prices in communities across the nation, the number of short sales is increasing. Since a short sale generally costs the lender less than a foreclosure, it can be a viable way for a lender to minimize its losses. The cost of running the home including mortgage, taxes, utilities, upkeep etc are still squarely on the shoulders of the homeowner. In a foreclosure the lender will be responsible for those after the foreclosure is finalized.

A short sale can also be the best option for homeowners who are “upside down” on mortgages because a short sale may not hurt their credit history as much as a foreclosure. As a result, homeowners may qualify for another mortgage sooner once they get back on their feet financially. Check with a lender to see the ramifications of a short sale on your credit report.

What challenges have short sales presented for REALTORS®?

Absence of a uniform process and application

Currently, both short-sales documents and processes are lender-specific, making it very difficult and time-consuming for REALTORS® to become knowledgeable and efficient in facilitating these transactions. In other words there is not a standard process to follow. Each lender is requiring different forms and basically has their own rules on the transaction. Standard practices in the transaction are superseded by the lenders insistence on final say on all aspects of the contract. In a normal transaction you get an answer to your contract in a day or two. Once the lender takes over the procedure it could take months to get the transaction offer answered. There is usually a clause in the contract specifying that the buyer or seller can walk away from the deal with no penalties after a specified date like say a month after the contract is submitted but you are still tied up in a transaction for that time.

The buyer is usually responsible for all repairs including Township violations. Think of it like an auction where you are buying the home “as is”. We have even seen instances where the lender wants to renegotiate the commissions or make the buyer pay the realtor commission for their agent which is normally paid by the seller. You are still entitled to your inspection though and can specify you can walk away if you do not like the results. It must be stated in your contract that you are taking the inspection option allowing you to do that.

Multiple lenders

When more than one lender is involved, the negotiations are much more difficult. Second lien holders often hold up the transaction to exert the largest possible payment, in exchange for releasing their lien, even though in foreclosure they will get nothing

As a result of these challenges our members have reported difficulties with: unresponsive lenders; lost documents that require multiple submissions, inaccurate or unrealistic home value assessments, and long processing delays, which cause buyers to walk away.

So the bottom line is yes you can get a deal on a home because normally the price is lower than the norm. You have to be prepared for the transaction to take much longer than a normal one. You have to have your inspections to see what all the repairs will cost. The township does not normally do their inspection until alter all the papers are signed by both parties so you could be surprised by another set of repairs prior to settlement. As a buyer you may be responsible for paying some or all of the buyer’s realtor fees. Remember you are basically buying the home “as is” and will not get any help from the seller because they are already in difficulty with their finances.

Century21 Alliance
Jim & Deborah Brady Realtors
Licensed in Pa #RS276048
Office: 610-853-2700
Direct: 610-853-8416
Cell: 610-613-3381
Fax: 610-853-4835

Website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com/

Our Blog Pages: http://yourrealestatequestionsanswered.blogspot.com/
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Day In The Life Of A Realtor Showing Homes

We were contacted by a young couple over the phone looking for a home in Haverford Township. They seemed focused and already had a list of ten homes they wanted to see. After communicating with them some more over the phone and sending them the available homes they had a list of about 20 homes they wanted to see. Yikes that is a lot of homes so we narrowed it down to 9 homes that looked the best of the lot. They had nice pictures up and many were touting the fact they were move in condition which our clients were interested in since they both worked and had one child with another baby on the way.

We met at the first home and they were lovely people and had their child and grandparents with them to help out. The first home was decent looking if plain but as soon as they realized it had no rear yard but a driveway instead we left quickly after seeing the first floor. That is much easier on everyone if you have a lot of homes to see. Why look in every nook and cranny if you know the home does not work for you.

The second home was the same basically and it also had a driveway and garage in the lower level so we did not even go in. Both homes were brick twins and were kind of plain with nothing that really jumped out at you.

The third home was a single cape that had a lot of charm inside and a nice rear yard. Capes typically have a bedroom on the first floor and our clients decided that would not work with the children. It was also on a busy street which was a negative with no fenced in front.

The fourth home was a beauty. A huge twin that did not seem to need any work. Completely updated with new kitchen, floors, heater, the works. It had a nice rear yard and a family room for an office and playroom but for some reason the home did not click for them. It was brand new on the market. I think they were looking for a different neighborhood look than this one. You can tell when you are in a home if it grabs a client or not and this one they were subdued.

The fifth home was a small single that had a lot going for it but it to had no yard and instead a driveway and garage. It was also on a busy street. Had charm and was ready to move in but needed some updating.

The sixth home was another big twin that grabbed the clients as soon as they entered. It had the layout, colors, space and decorating style they identified with. It had a small office also. The neighborhood was more like they had in mind. They even thought the squirrel entering the roof facia through a hole was charming. It had trees shading the front and rear. But guess what? No rear yard again. It had a deck overlooking a driveway and garage.

The seventh home was in Bala Cynwyd and had a great rear yard but the steps out of the kitchen to the yard were missing! Inside was a nice open layout with lots of light and hardwood floors. The second floor had a beautiful bath and one bedroom. The third floor had two small bedrooms up a tight stairway that they decided it would be a hard trip at night carrying the children to bed. It was a 75 year old home so that layout was common. The street was also very steep making stroller navigation tough.

The eighth home was under contract already and the ninth home was for sale privately and they never returned our call to view their home. Makes it tough to sell if you will not let the clients see it.

So after viewing the homes on our list we had a great feel for what the clients wanted. They were leaning toward a neighborhood like Ardmore, or Wynnewood. Wanted a home with a fenced in rear yard on a quiet street with lots of charm, hardwood floors, open layout with an office or playroom and move in condition.

Of the homes we saw only one had what they were looking for but they did not seem to care for the neighborhood. All of the others had something wrong with them in their eyes and were not being considered. It only took about two hours because they were reasonable and when they realized the home did not have what they wanted we moved on. Only a couple of the homes were truly move in and updated. The other all needed updates in the kitchen and bath or needed other updating. Only one had a finished basement that I saw. Oh well back to the drawing board.

If you want to sell your home in this market you have to have it updated and ready to move in or you are not going to get top dollar. See our previous blog on getting your home ready to sell.

Our clients sent us five homes we picked out of the rest of the available and while we were out showing and drove by them and narrowed it down to 2 because of the yard requirement and a quiet street requirement.

Talked to our clients and they made arrangements to see them in two days. Then we got an email from them that night saying they were going to put their house hunting on hold for a while and contact us at a later date. Yikes, so we were back to square one with them. I think they were just frustrated at the shortage of homes meeting their requirements. Anyway they were lovely clients and we would work with them in the future but would narrow the search down considerably after meeting with them and see what they were really looking for.

Oh, on a side note the one twin we showed that was truely move in condition was on the market 3 days and had two strong offers which is unheard of in this market. It just shows a home where the sellers maxed out their potential and showed it properly will still move quickly even in a slow market.

Century21 Alliance
Jim and Deborah Brady Realtors
Licensed in Pa #RS276048
Office: 610-853-2700
Direct: 610-853-8416
Cell: 610-613-3381
Fax: 610-853-4835
Website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com

Our Blog Pages: http://yourrealestatequestionsanswered.blogspot.com/
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

When Was The Last Time Someone Gave You $8000?

Hi: We are making sure all of our clients & friends know that the $8000 first Time Buyer Credit and the $6500 Existing owner credit are about to expire. You must sign a contract by April 30, 2010 and settle by June 30 to qualify for this credit. Do not miss this opportunity if you are thinking of buying or selling. When was the last time the government offered you a $8000 credit?

Combined with historically low interest rates and FHA financing of most mortgages you need less money than ever to make your dream come true. With FHA you only have to put down 3.5% and can even finance some of the closing costs.

Prices on homes have been reduced over the last few years in most areas so you can finally get your home at a reasonable rate. Buyers no longer have to offer full price or above to get their home.

So combine the low prices, low interest rates, low down payment, loans guaranteed by the FHA and an $8000 Credit you must agree now is the time for Buyers. Hold onto your home for five years and you will show a sizable increase in the value of your home.

If you have decent credit you may be able to purchase a $200,000 home for as little as $7,000 down. At 5.5% Interest rate the mortgage payment would be $1100 if you finance the closing costs. Then you get the tax credit for $8000 next year and you have eliminated your initial investment.

Please do not miss this opportunity. Contact us today. These circumstances may never be duplicated.

Sincerely, Jim & Deborah
Century21 Alliance

Jim & Deborah Brady Realtors
Licensed in Pa #RS276048
Office: 610-853-2700
Direct: 610-853-8416
Cell: 610-613-3381
Fax: 610-853-4835

Website: http://www.bradyhometeam.com/

Our Blog Pages: http://yourrealestatequestionsanswered.blogspot.com/



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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Real Estate holding firm in Haverford, Pa

According to The Trend MLS Listing Service the Realtors in this area use Quarter 4 2009 started to show some life. The average home price including all styles in Haverford was $271,900 for an increase of 2.8% from the previous year. 86 homes sold in the township for an increase of 22.8% from last year's quarter 4. Average days on the market was 76 but the interesting number is sellers got 96.7% of their final asking price. Final asking price is the list price after reductions to the original price. Many homeowners typically reduce the price if a home if it is not receiving any written offers.

All in all Haverford started to rebound a little and if you include the townhomes, condos, twins, and singles included in this report our average price is pretty solid compared to some other areas of the country. Short Sales and Foreclosures have reduced the average settled price in many parts of the nation so to actually show a small increase is good news.

Haverford continues to attract buyers of all kinds. We have a good reputation in the real estate world and why not?People are nice, schools are good,  and we live in a Metropolitan Area. This spring should see a burst of activity before the Federal Tax Credit expires in April 2010.

Century21 Alliance
Jim and Deborah Brady
Direct: 610-853-8416


Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Variety Of Tax Credits Available

Was pouring over the tax credits available and wanted to make our neighbors aware of them. http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/

First is the obvious one, the First Time Home Buyers and the Existing Home Buyer tax credit. Basically anyone who hasen't owned a home in 3 years can qualify up $8000 tax credit on a home purchase as your primary residence. $125,000 income limit for individuals and $250,000 for couples.

Existing Home Buyer Credit up to $6500 for anyone who has lived in a home 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years can qualify on a primary residence.
To qualify you must have a signed agreement of sale by April 30,2010 and settle by June 30,2010

Now here are a few energy related credits.

Residential Energy Property Credit (Section 1121): The new law increases the energy tax credit for homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their existing homes. The new law increases the credit rate to 30 percent of the cost of all qualifying improvements and raises the maximum credit limit to $1,500 for improvements placed in service in 2009 and 2010.
The credit applies to improvements such as adding insulation, energy efficient exterior windows and energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems

Windows and Doors
Tax Credit:
30% of cost with no upper limit
December 31, 2016

Geothermal Heat Pumps:
Tax Credit:
30% of cost with no upper limit
December 31, 2016

Here is a table listing 1. Geothermal , 2. High Energy Heating System, 3. Older Heating System on our home.
Heating/Cooling/Hot Water Operating Cost Comparisons

Chart and graph below are based upon data selected to the left and are considered to be estimates only. Home construction, occupant living habits, weather, and other variations may change the accuracy of this report. Operating costs include heating, cooling, and hot water only. Most homes have approximately 500 to 1,000 kWh of base electric use (electricity use for lighting and appliances). For this size home, the base electric use should cost approximately $38 to $75 per month, which must be added to the heating, cooling, and hot water costs.

System Comparisons:
1 Geothermal Heating and Cooling with Hot Water Generator
2 Natural Gas Furnace, 91% eff. / 10 SEER Air Conditioner / Natural Gas Water Heater
3 Natural Gas Furnace, 80% eff. / 10 SEER Air Conditioner / Natural Gas Water Heater

Annual heating, Cooling, and Hot Water Costs:
60 year old, 2000 sq. ft. home
Philadelphia, PA
System Heating Cooling Hot Water Totals Avg Monthly
1          $503     $142    $423        $1,068          $89
2        $1,760    $362   $873         $2,992          $249
3        $1,996    $362    $870        $3,228          $269

Electric rate: $0.075/kWh
Propane Rate: $2.75/gallon
Natural Gas Rate: $1.75/ccf
Fuel Oil Rate: $2.60/gallon

Installs a system of pipes 4 to 6 ‘ below ground filled with a coolant liquid that transfers hoter air in the winter and cooler air in the summer to system where it is heated up . Energy costs are $89 Per month estimated for heat and cooling. The site estimates it will take 5 years to recoup the extra expense of a GeoThermal system but I do know all high end energy systems are attractive to buyers so you may get some of that money back on the sale of your home.

Tax Credit:
30% of cost with no upper limit
December 31, 2016

Now here are some Vehicle Tax Credits:

Hybrid Gas-Electric and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Individuals and businesses who buy or lease a new hybrid gas-electric car or truck are eligible for an income tax credit for vehicles “placed in service” starting January 1, 2006, and purchased on or before December 31, 2010. The amount of the credit depends on the fuel economy, the weight of the vehicle, and whether the tax credit has been or is being phased out. Hybrid vehicles that use less gasoline than the average vehicle of similar weight and that meet an emissions standard qualify for the credit.
This tax credit will be phased out for each manufacturer once that company has sold 60,000 eligible vehicles. At that point, the tax credit for each company’s vehicles will be gradually reduced over the course 15 months. See the IRS's Summary of the Credit for Qualified Hybrid Vehicles for information on the status of specific vehicle eligibility.
Alternative-fuel vehicles, diesel vehicles with advanced lean-burn technologies, and fuel-cell vehicles are also eligible for tax credits. See the IRS summary of credits available for Alternative Motor Vehicles.

Plug-In Electric Vehicles
The Recovery Act modifies the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles purchased after Dec. 31, 2009. The minimum amount of the credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles is $2,500 and the credit tops out at $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. To qualify, vehicles must be newly purchased, have four or more wheels, have a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 14,000 lbs, and draw propulsion using a battery with at least four kilowatt hours that can be recharged from an external source of electricity. The full amount of the credit will be reduced with respect to a manufacturer's vehicles after the manufacturer has sold at least 200,000 vehicles. The credit will then phase out over a year

Low Speed & 2/3 Wheeled Vehicles
The Recovery Act law also creates a special tax credit for two types of plug-in vehicles - certain low-speed electric vehicles and 2- or 3-wheeled vehicles. The amount of the credit is 10% of the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum credit of $2,500 for purchases made after Feb. 17, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2012.

To qualify, a vehicle must be either a low speed vehicle propelled by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with a capacity of 4 kilowatt hours or more or be a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle propelled by an electric motor that draws electricity from a battery with the capacity of 2.5 kilowatt hours. A taxpayer may not claim this credit if the plug-in electric drive vehicle credit is allowable. Please see IRS Notice 2009-58:

I know there is a state program that will give up to $1000 tax credit if you hire one of their contractors to do an energy audit of your home and have them do the repairs. They will also arrange financing for the work but I am skeptical of any program that makes you use their contractor and offers to arrange financing. I would be more in favor of a cash grant program for work done. If anyone knows of the local programs available please post them. I have never heard of any local agency offering any kind of program.

These figures are from the IRS site and the EPA site. I am confused by the language on some of the residential energy credits. On the IRS site it lists $1500 max but on the EPA site it lists some items at 30% credit with no limit and not expiring until 2016. I would ask any contractor doing the work before he starts what the ruling is and also ask them if they have any rebate programs available. I know some will offer up to $4000 contractor rebate on high end heating systems.

Century21 Alliance
Jim & Deborah Brady Realtors
Licensed in Pa #RS276048
Office: 610-853-2700
Direct: 610-853-8416
Website:  http://www.bradyhometeam.com

Our Blog Pages:  http://yourrealestatequestionsanswered.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

Today we will break down the process of getting ready to sell and what has a high impact on buyers.

1. DECLUTTER, Declutter, Declutter. All of that stuff we accumulated over the years has to go either to storage or yard sale or give it away. We cannot stress this enough.  Take at least one piece of furniture out of each room to open it up.  Clear out the basement and attic. You are looking to make your home look as big and wide open as possible.  Clear away the tables except for essentials.

2. FRESH PAINT. Nothing makes a home look cleaner and ready to move in like a fresh coat of paint in all the rooms. It dosen't have to be all bone white color but stay away from some of the brighter colors.

3. INSPECT. Walk around your home inside and outside like an inspector would and be prepared to have some of the defects  repaired or give a cash credit at the settlement table to the buyer.  Be informed about the strong points and weak points of your home. Every inspector finds something in a home that they focus on for one reason or another. They are professionals and are trying to protect both the buyer and themselves from litigation. You can offer a free home warranty to the buyer to make them feel a little more comfortable about the responsibilities of home ownership.

4. CURB APPEAL. Have your home sparkling on the outside and have flowers and plants evident and have your landscape well taken care of.  That is the first impression of your home and it is a lasting one. A new or freshly painted front door and windows goes a long way to creating a good impression.

5. PRESENTATION.  For your appointments have the lights on, curtains open to let in as much light as possible, have the home straightened and clean, pets toys and stuff put away,  and have some information about the neighborhood, schools, community groups, restaurants, etc available with your realtors presentation packet. Get your Realtor to post high quality photos of your home on all his websites and the multiple listing service. 90% of buyers start looking on the web and they base their impressions on the price and the photos of the home. Without a fair price and superior photos your showings will suffer.

6. PRICE IT RIGHT. Listen to your realtor and try to keep the price the same or a little lower than the competition. Nothing drives traffic to a home like an attractive price. Try not to be the highest priced home in the neighborhood unless you have a long list of upgrades that were done and it is absolutely move in. This is a tough market right now and the buyers and their agents are well informed on the settled prices in your area.

If you spend a little money on paint and repairs and put some sweat into getting your home ready you will reap the rewards with lots of showings and positive feedback from the agents and buyers . Word spreads quickly on a nice home ready to move into. We hope this helps you in getting your home ready.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Sunday Stroll Through Ridley Creek State Park

Wow, what a day. We woke up to a small dusting of snow and couldn't resist a drive to Ridley Creek State Park after we got done some work on real estate and read the Sunday Paper with some muffins and coffee. The park is huge and only about 25 minutes from Havertown. It is one of the many destinations within 30 minutes of our town.

 http://picasaweb.google.com/jb5440/RidleyCreekStateParkEdgemontPa?feat=directlink is for the pictures.

 The site is http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/ridleycreek.aspx. The villages there were from the early 1700's and some of their foundations are still there along with a few of the original homes including the plantation which is a replica of a colonial farm and is open for tours. The guides are role playing so be prepared for the Old English. We got a few pictures strolling and will link the album in a sec.

We stopped at La Laconad 2 Go http://www.lalocanda2go.webs.com/ Right outside the park for a veggie wrap and a green tea for lunch in the park. It is a small take out associated with the LaLocanda Dining Institution a few doors away. The place is tiny with a few tables to eat in but the size of the menu is overwhelming. I read about the stop in this month's issue of Main Line Today which had nothing but good things to say about the place. It has both fast food and a striped down menu from it's main establisment. The wrap was prepared quickly on the grill of all places and served on a warm wheat wrap with a side of pasta salad. It was delicious. Definately going back there.

The park itself was deserted and put us in relaxed, dreamy mood as we rode and strolled around. The horses were out in the pasture around the riding stable that boards a lot of privately owned mounts. We drove down to the village where the original mill was for the photos of the falls. It was called Bishop's Mill & Sycamore Mill & Providence Mill over the years and has a great hiking path with no autos allowed. The oldest property is the 1683 Worrel House http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ridley_Creek_State_Park is a nice site with info on it.

It was a day to remember with my lovely wife Deborah. One of many.
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Little Known Facts About The Tax Credit For Existing Home Buyers

The tax credit for existing home buyers comes with a couple restrictions that some may not be aware of. Everyone knows you must have lived in the residence for 5 years, but you also must have 30% equity in the home and agree to use the new home as your primary residence. You must also agree to sell your original home unless you have a six month reserve of the mortgages, taxes, insurance premiums etc. for each home. So if you are carrying a $1500 payment for each home you are looking at a $20,000 reserve minimum left after your new home purchase. This information was shared by our mortgage broker in the Century21 Alliance office this past week.

Will 2010 & The Tax Credit Bring The Buyers Back?

Real Estate got a sorely needed shot in the arm when they extended and expanded the tax credit for home buyers. Now that existing home buyers as well as first time home buyers can qualify it should bring back the buyers that have been sitting on the fence. So if you had a home that did not sell keep it on the market. Buyers must have signed a contract by April 30 to quailify and as we saw with the credit that was supposed to expire in November most clients will wait until that last month to put in their offer.

January is always slow in real estate and it starts to get busier each month up to June and then it normally slows down for the summer months with a flurry in October with clients picking up properties that did not sell over the summer. This year might show a different pattern. The tax credit, a resurgence of FHA loans, and pent up demand might show heavy traffic this winter and early spring.

Even through an economic downturn the real estate cycle still goes on. New buyers become eligible to purchase, existing buyers want to upgrade for size or lifestyle reasons, transfers happen in the workplace and estate sales go.

The new buyers are actually a stronger client than the ones we saw previously when real estate was booming. The days of 100% financing and a gift letter from family members are over so after the initial shock or loan refusal they are coming back to the search with better credit scores and an actual down payment and settlement cash. They are more focused and determined to be an informed buyer and negotiate a stronger deal in this buyers market.

So you sellers out there stay with it, price your home competitively, and have your home ready to show at all times. The worst thing to be right now is the highest priced home sitting on the market. You want to stand out from the pack and the best way to drive traffic to your home is to be just a little bit lower in price than your neighbors. Believe me, the present day buyer is looking hard but he is not willing to pay top dollar in this market.

You can email me any questions at bradyscentury21@gmail.com

Making Your Home Purchase As Stress Free As Possible

Let's Face it, buying a home is both exciting and stressfull. Here I would like to give you some tips to make it a little less stressfull. First and foremost check your credit scores since that will be the initial item your mortgage company will use to determine your credit worthiness and will have a major bearing on how much you will be paying each month for your home. If there are negative comments from an institution or any unpaid bills from collection agencies address them to clear them up. Contact these companies and come to an agreement with them on any outstanding bills or loans as they will have to be taken care of before you go can get your final mortgage committment. Ask your lender for a written pre-approval before you start looking so you will know what you can afford. Nothing is harder than falling in love with a home and finding out your lender will not approve the loan.

After doing your homework on the internet ( www.bradyhometeam.com can be a huge help) checking neighborhoods, schools, taxes, travel time to work focus in on one particular area so you do not become overwhelmed with potential homes. Next establish a relationship with one realtor. Calling and emailing multiple realtors will cut down on the service you receive. Realtors can tell which clients are focused and committed and will work harder for clients they feel are ready to buy in the near future. Communicate your wants and needs via email and for goodness sake call your realtor so both of you can get a feel for each other and find out if you are a good match. Let the Realtor do the work for you. They have a vast array of tools to find the home you want. Do not waste time looking at every home on the market. Let your agent sift through the homes available and find ones that match your request and go see 4 or 5 in a day. After your agent sees your reaction to the homes they picked they will know what you are looking for.

After finding your home ask to see comparible homes in that neighborhood that are on the market and homes that settled in the last six moths to determine your price. The actual settled price is a better comparison as a home's value is really only what the buyer is willing to pay. Put your offer in with a timeline of 24 to 48 hours for an answer so you are not left hanging. A little back and forth on the final price is part of the process so be prepared for it and have a number in your head you are willing to pay and let your realtor know it. Reserve the final say to any agreement and do not sign any contract until you are comfortable with the agreement.

Get your inspections done quickly and as we say do not sweat the little stuff and focus on any major repair like roof, electric, plumbing, heat, termite damage etc. Do not lose the home you want over something minor. Most sellers are prepared by their agents to either fix a legitimate repair or arrange a cash credit to the buyer. The seller will just have to fix the problem for the next buyer anyway and everyone knows that.

Stay in touch with your mortgage broker so they can meet the committment date. Prior to settlement ask for a written copy of your HUD statement which will detail all charges involved with settlement. Once you get to the table it is harder to get something changed. Ask your agent to go over the settlement sheet prior to the final day so they can explain everything to your satisfaction.

Call your lender the day before and ask if they are ready to go and find out when they are delivering the papers and more importantly the cash to the title clerk at the settlement office. Wiring money takes a few hours so make sure it is done the day before.

Go to settlement informed and relaxed and enjoy the day. It will take a couple hours so be prepared. Everyone there will be professional and focused on making the transaction as smooth as possible. We have seen sellers and buyers who did not get along at all during the negotiations hug and kiss at the settlement table. Get your keys and enjoy your new home with your family. I hope this helps relieve some of the stress involved in the purchase of your dream home.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pricing The Home Correctly Is Everything In Havertown, Delaware County

One of the most difficult tasks of the Realtor in Delaware County taking a new listing is convincing the seller to price their home moderately in this difficult market. I don't know how many times we have heard
" Our home is much nicer than our neighbors that is on the market so we want $10,000 more".

The biggest mistake sellers make is trying to price their home on what all the other homes on the market are trying to get instead of focusing on the homes that actually went to settlement in the last six months. That tells the story of what the homes are actually worth to the public. They need to take the actual settlement price and add say 10% to allow for the buyer dropping down off the asking price. Most buyers in this market do not offer asking price unless either it was priced below market value for a quick sale or it is absolutely perfect and they are in a multiple bid situation. Another item on the settlement sheet that sellers have trouble dealing with is in some areas buyers are getting a seller's assist to help with the settlement costs. It might be as high as 6% of the contract price. That only shows up on the Realtors sites and the public is not aware of it. So they might see a settlement price of $200,000 but missed the small notation there was a $12,000 concession meaning the buyer got that to help with settlement cost.

Here is a situation that we ran into last week. We took one of our clients to see a home that was priced low in Havertown, Delaware County. It was a single home that needed everything. The asking price was around $20,000 lower than the average for a fixer upper. It was an estate sale so the family wanted it sold quickly. When we went to our appointment to see the home there was a crowd of 6 people waiting to get in the home for a scheduled open house that the listing realtor never showed up for. We showed the home to our client and then let the people in for a quick look. While they were looking four more people showed up to see it. We finally got them all out of the home and continued on our showing schedule. Our client expressed interest in the home. Another agent in our office saw our car there and said he took a client through also and when he called the listing agent she said she already had 8 offers. Another agent in our office also had a client put an offer in and his client's offer was accepted above the asking price close to the normal price for that typed of home. So in this scenario it worked for the seller. The home was on the market only 14 days and they got close to the average settlement price. If they had put it up for say $20,000 above the normal price it probably would have sat on the market much longer and the offer price would still have been down in the average settlement price.

So let me repeat, Pricing correctly is Everything in this market in Havertown, Delaware County

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Market Two Years Later

I published the initial blog about Havertown in Delaware County in March 2007 and find it interesting looking at it today. The causes of the bubble and collapse of the Real Estate Markethave been verified by multiple sources over time and I would like to comment on today's market.

The downturn continues. Homes are on the market longer than ever and the number of listings that expire (the listing contract expires without an acceptable offer, usually 6 months) and withdrawns ( the seller gets disgusted and just pulls the home off the market because no offers are coming in) are up 200%. Prices have dropped about 15% in this area. There is over 18 months supply of inventory sitting on the market because the number of buyers has shrunken dramatically. Interest rates are low but only the top qualified buyers can get a mortgage so the first time buyers that drive the market are shut out. Without first time buyers purchasing there is no trading up. e.g. Owner 1wants to move out of their starter home to a mid sized home. They cannot sell their existing home. That means the mid sized home they were going to buy goes unsold. That means the mid sized home owner cannot move up to the bigger home they want. So you see the first time buyer controls the market and no one can move up.

In Delaware County lenders want a minimum of 10% down and some want 20% for a conventional mortgage. So a first time buyer on a $150,000 home needs either $15 or $30k down plus another 5% of the asking price to cover closing cost. They must also have excellent credit. Now realistically how many young people do you know that have that kind of cash reserves on hand? That is the problem in a nutshell. The alternative is FHA financing which is now doing about 70% of the market, up from 20% 2 years ago. They only require around 3.5% down but you still need excellent credit and closing cost. Even going FHA you are looking at around $13,000 cash on hand which still limits the buyer pool.

The market will take years to recover because it will take the first time buyers years to save that kind of cash. We do not save much as a society and our basic premise of buying a home has to change. There are no free rides on homes anymore and 100% financing is dead. I welcome all responses to this article. Thank You

What Has Caused This Real Estate Market Slowdown In Delaware County

Why Home Prices Went Up And The current Slow Market In Havertown
There are many answers all combining to put the real estate market in a tailspin In Havertown. In our particular area (Delaware County, Pa a suburb 20 minutes from Philadelphia) the market slowed down in the fall of 2006. It has not recovered yet and every realtor in our Century 21 Alliance office is crossing their fingers and repeating the mantra " things will pick up in the spring" lol. Here are mine and my wife's observations (we work as a team out of our office.) http://www.bradyhometeam/ is our website. The home prices in our area skyrockted like the rest of the country the last five years for several reasons.1.Everyone was caught up in the "I have to have a bigger and better home" or first time buyers wanting to own instead of rent syndrome. This increased the number of buyers and the supply and demand theory kicked in driving up prices across the board. Existing homes were unable to handle the volume of buyers so developers rushed into the breech building new construction homes with all the amenities clients could possibly want. This in turn created a shortage of building materials that drove their prices up and was passed on the the buyers. Most new construction contracts have a clause in them stating that the price may go up before construction is complete.2. Investors on Wall Street poured money into treasury bonds and mutual funds that invest in real estate mortgages increasing the pool of money available. Since the number of buyers increased the banks and mortgage companies saw a potential for profit and increased their media drive to supply mortgages at some of the lowest interest rates in years. The old rules for lending went out the window in their rush to be competitive and first time buyers and returning clients with less than steller credit were accepted with all kinds of new mortgages including 100% financing, teaser rates on adjustable mortgages, interest only loans and a whole variety of packages that just seemed to good to turn down.3.When we go out on a listing presentation to sign up a seller and suggest a price to the seller their expectations are sometimes unrealistic and they would like to see a price $5000 higher than the last home on their street because they believe their home is much nicer than their neighbors or they have made personal choices on improvements that they would like to pass on to the buyers. Even after presenting them with the hard facts on paper it dosen't change their mind and sadly if you want a chance at getting that home on the market the agent has to cave in knowing it is priced too high. If the agent holds the line on the suggested price he loses the contract because the next agent coming in is going to say "how much? I can get you more than that!" It is a nasty cycle that feeds on itself. The odd thing is that the last five years 75% of the time the buyers actually paid the higher price because they were caught up in the frenzy of owning a home and multiple bids were common on the nicer homes. On a multiple bid situation there is alway a low bid, an asking price bid, one a little higher and one that just seems to blow everyone else out of the water. The seller naturally wants the highest bid taken and that feeds into the cycle also driving the price up.The Real Estate Slowdown - Cause & EffectNow to the slowdown covering the causes, effects and possible future.1. Inflated prices on homes occuring over the last 5 years from an influx of buyers has slowed and coupled with the traditional slow winter sales period in the Havertown, Delaware County , Chester, Montgomery, & Bucks county areas of real estate has everyones attention in the business wondering why it has not picked up this spring as it has in the past. Since all of the media attention has been focused on a housing bubble and when, not if it will break, both sellers and buyers are hesitant to jump in. Sellers fear they will not get top dollar so hesitate on putting their homes on the market. Buyers are fearfull they will buy in at the top end and see their investment shrink.2. With the recent Sub-Prime Mortgage Lender Fiasco the mortgage companies investors have dried up and their stock has plummeted so they cannot take on new loans of risky clients. Clients that took adjustable loans with a low teaser rate are ready to refinance but may run into problems with it if their credit is not steller. That means foreclosures are up across the country driving prices down since the mortgage lender is looking for a quick sale and will undercut market prices to get it done. First time buyers with shaky credit will not be able to get all of the financing they would like so might be shut out of the market. This shrinks the available buyer pool in some areas making it harder to sell homes on the market. These first time buyers will need to put down the traditional 10% and one client told us his lender wants 20% down to get a good rate on their mortgage. This will shock the first time buyers as they are used to the media coverage of 100% financing, low rates, etc., they see commonly advertised. They may have to stay in the rental market longer since most buyers want a low mortgage rate regardless of their credit and refuse to take on a note with high interest. We have had clients in the past who wanted to buy and had a mortgage pre-approval for 100% financing and a gift letter from family members covering the settlement charges. This practice will continue in the mid and high range markets because most buyers in that market have better credit or higher income but the more moderately priced homes will be affected and mortgage companies might not allow this practice in that market. So some estimates have the buyer pool being reduced by as much as 20% that will add to the problem. The National Association Of Realtors on the other hand reports February Existing Home Sales are the strongest since last April which I find hard to believe. In our real estate office in Havertown Pa. it sure dosen't look like it.3.Talking with realtors they all seem to agree the market is in a slowdown. Agents who were doing only listings the last few years and not getting involved with buyers because it takes a lot more work to find a buyer a home than to list a home and let the other realtors bring the buyers to you are now going out looking for buyers because the listings are down dramatically. This in turn will hurt the less established realtors and force some to leave the business if it is a prolonged downturn adding to economy woes as the workforce has to adjust to other means of income. Any prolonged slump in housing will trickle down to building materials, tradesman, construction, home supply centers, retailers etc. and add to the uneasiness of the economy and this will steamroll with dire results. Housing has been one of the stalwarts of the economy the last five years and has driven the markets to new highs. Some economists predict a recession if all of the above things happen. March 27. 2007 the markets dropped 70 points and one of the reason was a weak housing report. The nations largest new home builder reported profits down 73% in the last quarter of 2006 as opposed to a year ago.This is a work in progress and I will add content as I can and welcome all exchanges of information on real estate