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Thank you to all Veterans

By: judyniemeyer On November 11, 2015

Yesterday I was fortunate to tour the shores of Normandy, walk the beach and visit the American cemetery. How heroic our soldiers were and how proud I was to be an American. Over 9,000 Americans are buried in the cemetery. All marked with beautiful white marble crosses.

As we approached our group joined into the Pledge of Allegiance and then followed with taps. It was a very emotional day.

Thank you to all Veterans. Today is your day.IMG_0138

Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate: Home Sweet Condo?

By: judyniemeyer On July 21, 2008

One of the most fundamental questions when considering purchasing Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate is whether to purchase a single family home or a condo.  Although there are many factors to consider, the answer really lies in the buyer’s preference and lifestyle.

 

A condo might be a good fit for those in search of a more urban, low-maintenance lifestyle.  Condos typically resemble apartments with several units in the same building or complex sharing amenities (although they can also be duplexes, free-standing buildings, etc.).  Although there are monthly maintenance fees involved with condo ownership, that also means that the owners are not responsible for any maintenance outside their own four walls.  Because condos are a shared community, ownership is often limited to a specific space. 

 

For many home-buyers, single-family homes offer more privacy and control.  When purchasing a single-family home, the buyer owns the entire building as well as the land on which it sits.  Likewise, this means the maintenance of the structure and the land is the owner’s sole responsibility.

 

If you would like to learn more about owning Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  Find Your Perfect Eastern Shore AL Home!

Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Tip: What Is Universal Design?

By: judyniemeyer On July 14, 2008

You may have heard buzz around the term “universal design” in recent years, but do you know what it is or how it affects the Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate and construction markets?

 

According to Lowes.com, universal design is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialization. The intent is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications and the built environment more usable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Universal Design benefits people of all ages and abilities.

 

Think this is some “far out” theory just now working its way into the “modern” world?  Think again:  if you’ve ever walked through an automatic door, you’ve experienced a version of Universal Design.   Likewise, a ramp or curb cut is just as welcome to someone with a baby stroller as it is to someone in a wheelchair.
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Eastern Shore/Mobile AL Real Estate: How to Tell When A Price Is Too Good To Be True

By: judyniemeyer On July 10, 2008

If you are currently looking to buy Eastern Shore/Mobile AL real estate, you probably have a good idea of the general range you can expect to spend on a home.  So you might be surprised when a great-looking home shows up on the MLS with what seems like a shockingly low price tag attached.  The extra-low price seems too good to be true and – most of the time – it is. 

 

In many cases, the price you are seeing does not represent the actual asking price of the property.  Rather, it is likely a property that is in “pre-foreclosure” and the amount listed actually represents the balance of the defaulted loan, or the amount the current owner is in arrears.  Below is an excerpt from an article I found at Inman News that does a great job explaining how these properties end up on MLS search engines, and what you can do to spot them:

 

Real estate agents, investors and sophisticated buyers will know that it’s impossible to buy a house in Hermosa Beach for $4,712. But first-time home buyers may miss the fine print on sites like Yahoo and Trulia that explains that this is not the home’s listing price — and that the property may not even be for sale.

The practice of mixing pre-foreclosure properties with listings of for-sale properties by major listings sites like Yahoo Real Estate and Trulia is misleading to consumers and damages the credibility of the sites that allow it, according to a company that’s in the business of supplying similar information itself.

Brad Geisen, founder and CEO of Foreclosures.com, singled out Yahoo Real Estate and Trulia — which have partnerships with Foreclosure.com’s rival, RealtyTrac — as sites that are presenting pre-foreclosure data to consumers in a potentially confusing way.

Property searches conducted by Inman News show both sites provide information that could help consumers understand that the pre-foreclosure properties are not “listings,” and that the dollar figures displayed with each are not asking prices. But there does appear to be potential for confusion.

Checking “foreclosures” under “listing type” and entering a maximum value of $100,000 in the “price” field, a Yahoo Real Estate search for properties in Hermosa Beach, Calif., turned up seven properties, accompanied by dollar figures ranging from $4,712 to $100,000. According to Yahoo, the median asking price for 34 homes on the market in Hermosa Beach is $1.29 million.

But click on any of the properties for more details, and you are given a “property description” that reveals — for the first time — that the dollar figures associated with each property in the search results is not the asking price. Although “price” was specified in the query, the numbers may represent “estimated loan balance” or another figure related to the borrower’s indebtedness.

The moral of the story here is two-fold;  first, be sure to always read the fine print and don’t trust everything you see on the Internet and, second, always consult with an experienced Realtor who can help you determine the legitimate value of a property and assist you in finding the home of your dreams.

If you are ready to learn more about Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  Search all Mobile Eastern Shore AL real estate.

Re-capturing the American Dream With Mobile/Eastern Shore AL Real Estate

By: judyniemeyer On July 7, 2008

In the past, owning a home has always been perceived as a major component of the “American Dream.”  Unfortunately, because of the recent real estate market activity, home-ownership is often seen now as more of a nightmare than a dream.  But that doesn’t have to be the case!  Even in a slower economy, purchasing Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate can still be a step toward achieving your own “American Dream!” 

 

Inman News offers some reasons why home ownership still has benefits and advantages, including:

  • The opportunity to build equity and create wealth over time.
  • Protection from rent increases or eviction at the whim of a landlord.
  • The pleasures of a relatively larger home, suitable for a family, and with a backyard, garage or other auxiliary space.
  • The freedom — design review boards notwithstanding — to improve, remodel or redecorate to suit one’s own style and budget.
  • A variety of lucrative income-tax breaks.
  • Pride of ownership and a greater sense of security and stability.

 So, if you are thinking of purchasing Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, now is the time!  Don’t let the negative media attention on the market get you down – home ownership is still an attainable goal and a big part of the American Dream.

 

If you are ready to begin looking at Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. 

Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Sales May Rise Modestly Before Marked Increase in Late 2008

By: judyniemeyer On June 23, 2008

A modest gain in the level of Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate sales is possible over the next couple months, and an improvement is forecast for the second half of this year as more buyers are able to access affordable mortgages, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors®.

 

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.3 percent to 88.2 from a reading of 83.0 in March. It’s the highest index since last October, but remains 13.1 percent lower than April 2007 when it stood at 101.5.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said pending sales contracts have picked up notably in areas undergoing significant price drops. “Bargain hunters have entered the market en masse, especially in areas that have experienced double-digit price declines, but it’s unclear if they are investors or owner-occupants,” he said.

 

This is a great time to consider buying Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate.  To learn more about the current Mobile/Eastern Shore AL real estate market, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. 

Mobile AL Real Estate Tip: Questions To Expect From Your Lender

By: judyniemeyer On June 19, 2008

Before lending you a large sum of money to purchase a piece of Mobile AL real estate, it is understandable that your lender will want to know a little bit about you and your ability to pay back the loan.  If you are a first-time homebuyer, or if it has been a while since you last spoke with your lender, it is helpful to be prepared for some of the questions you may be asked and to have some responses in mind.  Below are some general examples of questions you may expect to hear when applying for a home loan:

 

Employment and income

Where do you work?

How much do you make?

How long have you been at your job?

How is your income derived — steady salary or irregular income? (if it’s the latter, plan on providing more details so that you get a favorable interest rate)


Outstanding debts

What recurring debts do you have?

How much do you pay a month for auto loans?

Credit cards?

How much of your monthly pretax income do these debts consume?


Cash reserves and assets

How much money do you have in the bank?

How much will be left after you pay your down payment and closing costs?


Down payment

How much money are you putting down?

Is this your own money? A gift? A nonprofit agency grant?


Loan purpose

Is this mortgage for a home buy or refinance?

If it’s a refinance, do you want to take cash out at closing to pay off other debts?

If so, how much?


Property use

Do you plan to live in the house?

Is it investment property?


Property type

A condominium?

A duplex?

 

In order to get the best possible interest rate and gain the trust of your lender, you will want to be able to prove that you’ve had steady employment (preferably with the same employer or in the same line of work) for two or more years.  You also want to avoid making any major purchases before applying for a loan – if a lender sees that you’ve just purchased an automobile last week, your debt-to-income ratio goes up and your ability to pay down a home loan goes down.  It is preferable to be making a down payment of at least 5% of the sales price with your own money and to prove that you have at least two months’ worth of mortgage payments in the bank; however, there are many programs such as Fannie Mae that require much lower down payments. 

 

To learn more about investing in Mobile AL real estate or for a referral to a reputable lender, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  You may also request a complimentary relocation package here!

Buyers of Mobile AL Real Estate: Lock in Low Interest Rates NOW!

By: judyniemeyer On June 16, 2008

As I reported recently, Fannie Mae is now requiring only a 3% down payment on all loans processed through its Desktop Underwriter® program.  This is great news for buyers who can take advantage of this program.

 

If you are in the market for a conventional mortgage, however, the news may not be so promising.  As this article from the Real Estate Journal explains, mortgage interest rates are climbing again at an alarming rate, and it is in Mobile AL real estate buyers’ best interests to lock in a low rate now.  Due to fears of inflation, the average interest rate on a typical 30-year fixed loan has spiked to 6.02% from 5.82% in just a week. 

To see how this spike would increase your mortgage payments, consider this:  as a rule of thumb, for each $100,000 you borrow, an additional tenth of a percentage point on your mortgage rate will add about $2,300 to the total amount of interest you will pay over the life of the loan.  For example, on a $300,000 mortgage, the current increase will add $38 to your monthly payments. It will cost an extra $4,000 in interest over the total life of the loan.

To learn more about Mobile AL real estate, or for a referral to a reputable lender who can explain your options when it comes to interest rates, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. 

The Case For Staging Your Mobile AL Real Estate

By: judyniemeyer On June 9, 2008

Staging  Mobile AL real estate for sale has become a hot trend in the industry.  Unlike some trends that are more trouble than they’re worth, however, this is one trend that can really pay off!  Here are 12 reasons why you should consider staging your home on the market:

1. Turbo Boost Sales Time
Experts all agree and studies show staged homes sell quicker – sometimes up to 50% faster – than non-staged homes.  Not only are you having to pay for your mortgage while your home stays on the market, but the longer the home is on the market, the greater chance there is for a price reduction.  Typically, when a home has been on the market for some time, buyers and agents will assume there must be something wrong with it or that the seller will be anxious to sell and will take much less than the asking price.

2. First Impressions Are The Most Important
People’s first impression of your home is critical.  Staging gives you the best opportunity to make a positive first impression rather than a negative one.  The stronger the impression, the less likely a potential buyer will be bothered if some things aren’t perfect.

3. Gone In 60 Seconds…
Psychology experts have proven that people react based on emotion and then seek logic to back up the feeling.  From a real estate perspective, a buyer will make an initial reaction in less than a minute whether they like your home or not.  Then, after the potential buyer’s initial decision has been made, they will either confirm that decision or rescind it in the next 6 to 20 minutes as they tour the property.  This is why proper staging is critical for any listing.    

4. Ready, Set, Go – Move-In Ready Sells Faster
A properly staged listing not only appears to be in “Move-In Ready” condition, but it really is.  Staging a house for sale means that every component of the house is as close as possible to model condition.  All buyers prefer to buy a home where they can just move-in and start enjoying life.  Most will even pay a premium for this.

5. Imagination Not Included
Did you know that only 5% of the population can truly visualize how beautiful a home can be or see past the clutter, grime and so-so appearance?  It’s true.  Help potential buyers see themselves happily living in your listing and let the offers come pouring in. 

6. Be the Needle In The Haystack
Staged homes have a much greater competitive advantage over houses that are not staged.  Experts are predicting that more and more listings will be sitting on the market for sale in the next few years.  Some areas have already seen a 100-300% increase in available inventory and average time on market.  A staged home stands apart from other listings because it has been properly merchandised to bring out the best qualities of the listing.
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Good News For the Mobile AL Real Estate Market!

By: judyniemeyer On June 5, 2008
newsMobile AL real estate sales of existing homes slowed this spring, partly because restrictive lending practices hampered home buyers. At the same time, a greater number of areas are showing sales gains from a year ago and a recent reversal in mortgage policy means the Mobile AL real estate market is better positioned for a turnaround, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said the good news is that mortgage restrictions have just been eased. “In the past week, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced that they were eliminating their ‘declining market’ policies, effective June 1,” he said.
 
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said eliminating restrictive policies should be a big help to home buyers. “I would encourage buyers who were disappointed by poor mortgage options to take another look at the market because the lending changes are significant,” he said. “Also, a recent notable drop in interest rates on conforming jumbo loans will help consumers in high-cost markets like California and New York.”
 
To learn more about the current conditions of the Mobile AL real estate market, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com. You may also visit the MLS to begin searching for Mobile AL homes!
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