Tag Archives: home selling points

The 10-Year Hybrid ARM Makes Sense!

Question: Do you want to buy a house?

Did you answer, YES?

Then, ask yourself these questions: Has your job required a transfer in the past 10 years? Are you buying a starter home? Are you single, but planning to someday get married and have children? Do you plan to retire in the next 10 years? Are you having trouble qualifying for a fixed rate mortgage? Do you expect to move in the next decade? Do you need a jumbo mortgage? Do you believe the country will have significant inflation in the next decade?

If your answer to one or more of these questions also is in the affirmative, you may be a candidate for a “hybrid” adjustable rate mortgage. At Newport Cove, we think the 10-year hybrid ARM is a great financing vehicle. And, be assured, it is not the same old ARM your father warned you about!

Often when Americans move, they think they will stay in their new home “forever.” This is rarely the case. People move because of job changes, retirement, changes in family size, marital status and economic situation. The typical length of home ownership in the U.S. is about five to seven years.

As the length of the mortgage term goes up, so goes the rate of the mortgage. Thus, a 30-year-fixed mortgage is more expensive than a 15-year, and 15-year mortgage more expensive than a five-year. If you know you will be in your home for less than 10 years (or even 12), you are wasting money if you take on a 30-year mortgage.

A hybrid 10-year ARM offers a fixed rate for 10 years, and then an adjustable rate for the next 20. For those who are quite certain that a move is in their future, this mortgage can be just the ticket. For 10 years they will enjoy a much lower monthly payment. If they are still in their home in the 11th year, the mortgage rate will adjust then and every year thereafter, according to the terms agreed to at the beginning of the loan.

Lenders have much more leeway in pricing ARM mortgages versus fixed-rate mortgages. If you decide on an ARM loan, you will find that rates can vary significantly – in some cases, almost two points – from one institution to another. (You will not see this much variance in 30-year fixed rates). In other words, if you are looking at an ARM, it pays to shop!!

At Newport Cove, we are offering special financing on 10-year ARMs for our existing spec homes. For the first two years, qualified buyers will pay a rate of 2.5 percent. The most they will pay in that 10-year period is 4.5 percent. (This program assumes a downpayment of 80 percent. For those who want 90 percent mortgages, Newport Cove can purchase other special financing programs from our lenders.) Thus, for two years, a buyer could be living in our beautiful Highmeadow model home, at right, for a principal and interest payment of just $1,249 per month. And, in the first 10 years, the largest monthly payment the buyer would face would be $1,602 per month. (The sales price of this home is $395,000.)

The hybrid ARM is an interesting alternative to normal fixed rate mortgages. Whenever you borrow, you take on risk. Savvy borrowers decide what risk works best for them in their own unique situation.

Appraisal Know-How

In today’s turbulent real estate market, an appraisal can make or break the sale of your home. Yet, appraising is far from an exacting profession. Here are a few things to know about appraisals so that the house you are buying or selling is valued properly:

1. An appraisal is one person’s opinion. During our 25 years in business, New American Homes has found that appraisals on the same property can vary greatly. The opinion of one appraiser does not necessarily match the opinion of another.

2. Qualify your appraiser. When the appraiser calls to make an appointment to view your property, ask if he or she is familiar with your neighborhood. If not, call the lender and ask that an appraiser with “geographic competency” value your home.

3. Be proactive with your appraiser. Be prepared to give the appraiser favorable comparables (or “comps”) from your neighborhood. Point out properties that have sold recently and compare well with your property. Tell the appraiser how these comps are better or worse than your property – for example, does your home have more bedrooms, an updated kitchen, a finished basement, more square footage, a preferred location?

4. Identify foreclosures.  Be sure that, if an appraiser is using a foreclosed property as a comp, this fact is properly noted and the condition of the foreclosed property is known.  (Many foreclosed properties are “stripped” before they are sold, and the recorded sale prices do not take into consideration the cost of bringing the properties back to a livable condition.)

The following link from AOL’s real estate blog, “Inside the Mind of an Appraiser,” is an excellent short video on how an appraiser looks at a home:  Inside the Mind of an Appraiser

Sell Yourself, Sell Your Home

When your lifestyle reflects market trends, it’s possible that if you sell yourself, you can sell your home. How can unfinished rooms in a basement be turned into a selling point? Lots of people are looking forstudio space. Mary’s basement rooms became studios with a drafting board for design work and a potter’s wheel for making ceramics. Her husband set up an area for making wine. Think charm, not glamor.

Cook at home. Selling point: Chef’s kitchen. A real cook makes the kitchen work no matter what kind of cabinets are used. Kate shows the good use of space and storage in her kitchen. She organizes shelves and arranges furniture so it’s easy for her to make an inviting environment around meals.

Cultivate a garden. Selling point: Curb appeal. Cut flowers in vases display a domestic touch. Don’t go overboard in the yard. Too much may intimidate those who don’t garden. Low maintenance perennials are lovely.

Check out the nine-foot basement ceilings atNewport Cove, a waterfront community of custom homes on the Chain O’ Lakes in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Kitchen space is well-designed for busy cooks. Professionally designed landscaping uses prairie plants and grasses to accent roads and pathways. Models are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.

Trying to Sell Your Home? Be Ready with Selling Points

Do you have lifestyle selling points worth mentioning when trying to sell your home? Realtors may not list these assets along with wood floors and granite counter tops, but they may be worth discussing when potential buyers are wavering between your house and someone else’s. Here are some potential house selling points you may have overlooked.Do you pay someone to clean your house? Selling point:Professionally cleaned on a regular basis. This may influence asthma sufferers. The upkeep of a home tells potential buyers the owners care about the space they live in. If the cleaning products contain only natural ingredients be sure to mention that as well.

Raising a family in your house. Selling point: A family-friendly layout.Carol never used a baby monitor since she could hear what was going on from any room in the house. Anecdotal stories like these can turn into advantages.

Purchasing energy-saving appliances and good insulation. Selling point: Energy efficiency. If you remodeled your kitchen and installed energy-efficient appliances or added attic insulation, you may want to show your low utility bills to potential home buyers.

Being on a good site with well-positioned windows and no clutter. Selling point: A great view. Clutter makes a house look and feel smaller. Ted’s house had windows that offered views of the sunrise and sunset.

Another favorite selling point atNewport Cove, a custom home waterfront community on the Chain O’ Lakes in suburban Chicago, is the coastal-style architecture. Homes are built using durable, low-maintenance products such asHardieboard concrete fiber siding and shakes, long-lived Certainteedarchitectural roof shingles, and aluminum-clad Pella windows.

Can Lifestyle Choices Help Sell a House?

This week we’re talking about giving yourself an edge when selling an existing house. It may be as simple as looking at your lifestyle choices as a homeowner. A few years ago Mary and her husband sold their ranch house. A potential buyer impressed with the butterflies, rabbits and birds in the yard asked how they had taken care of the lawn. “We had never put pesticides and chemical-based weed killer on our property for the 16 years we lived there,” she said. Their natural “green” yard was a benefit worth talking about.

One northwest suburban realtor sees potential buyers walk away from houses occupied by smokers. “The owners cleaned every inch of the house including all the fabrics. People still could smell the smoke.” She said smoke is the biggest lifestyle decision that detracts from home sales.

One of the favorite selling points at Newport Cove, a waterfront community of new custom homes, is its 100-plus-slip marina. Built for the exclusive use of the community’s 67 homes (and homeowners’ children and grandchildren). The marina extends along the community’s 1,800 feet of shoreline and fronts onto an eight-acre private lakefront. Newport Cove is located on Bluff Lake, one of the beautiful lakes in suburban Chicago’s Chain O’ Lakes.

Find Pleasure in Buying a New Home

When searching for a new home some people fall in love fast. For others anticipation builds. Avoid these potential trouble spots to keep your pleasure high throughout the buying process.

  1. Financing. Get your mortgage pre-approved. Talk with a professional loan officer and get a firm loan commitment. This can hasten the closing process, getting you into your new home sooner rather than later.
  2. The search. Find a trusted advisor. Work with a real estate agent you trust and who understands the market. Home buying is manageable on your own, but a realtor can give you insight and reassurance.
  3. Tax credits. Learn about what’s being offered. Currently, tax credits are being offered to new home buyers and existing home owners. These credits can take thousands of dollars off your federal tax bill. For answers to frequently asked questions: http://ow.ly/1uOx3
  4. Price. Evaluate what you’re really buying. You may not need a room for a home office or formal dining, so consider the efficient use of space. Also, short sales offered by banks on foreclosed properties may seem like a good deal at first, but buying a short sale is a long, involved process that delivers an as-is product often requiring major repairs and renovation.
  5. Decisions. Understand what you appreciate and what you can do without. Make a list of your priorities. Ultimately, the decision is yours. Don’t buy the wrong house for the wrong reasons.

Mix your joy in buying a new home with sound judgment and you’re bound to live there happily ever after.