Featured Article: 5 Valuable Tips For Home Buyers

Featured Article:
5 Valuable Tips For Home Buyers

Our Last Featured Article Concerned Tips For Sellers … Here Are Some Good Tips for Buyers

Adam Slivka is a retired educator, now a Realtor in Pennsylvania. Here's an informative article from Adam with some good advice for home buyers.


5 Valuable Tips For Home Buyers

by Adam M Slivka

Buying your home whether its your first or fourth can be stressful. With the following suggestions home shopping and buying should be a little easier. First, get pre-approved for a loan. Notice I said pre-approved not, pre-qualified. They are actually very different. Pre-approval involves running your credit score and determining what a lender will actually give you, where pre-qualified can be done over the phone, internet, or in person and gives you more of a "best case scenario" often leaving buyers disappointed if their credit is not as stellar as they believe. Again, pre-approval lets you know with certainty what price range you can afford. Clients who qualify for rock bottom rates may be enthusiastic to find out that they can afford much more house than they thought. Unfortunately the opposite is usually true and finding a $150,000 house exciting after you've been looking at $250,000 homes can be disheartening.

Second, check out the listings on several sites. The reason I suggest multiple sites is because most, if not all the big sites are paid advertising meaning that smaller brokerage companies may not have forked over the money to advertise on every site.

Third, if you are serious about buying call a qualified agent that is associated with a reputable company. So how do you find either one of these? First, I suggest checking out the company or broker that you intent to do business with. A good company will have a strong web presence, as well as, a strong presence in physical advertising in your neighborhood (newspapers, yard signs, etc.). Finding out a company's market share in your local area will also give you a good idea how successful a company is, though should not be the sole determination for your pick. A company that has a non-selling broker is also good to look for, since you the client will know your agent has support if needed. Now, how to find a good agent… That can actually be more difficult than finding a good company.

Find an agent who does it fulltime, part timers or moonlighters may know the laws, but are not working for you 24/7; real estate is also likely not their livelihood so they are likely to have a lower level of motivation for it. Next, you want to find an agent who is knowledgeable about his/her market. They should be able to answer basic questions such as: What is the average home price in my desired neighborhood? What percent of listing price are most homes selling for? How quickly are homes selling on average? Very important, but often overlooked is finding an agent with a personality that you could work with. Don't hesitate to talk to a few agents over the phone before making a commitment.

Fourth, realize that unless your budget is limitless, you will NEVER get exactly what you want. Many aspects of a home can be changed easily. Things that cannot be changed so simply are size and location, location, location.

Fifth, get educated yourself on home ownership if you are a first time buyer. Classes can be found at your local community college, online, or in some cases are even required by some lenders.

Heck, you could even read the blog of a real estate professional…

If you are interested in learning more about real estate, in the market to buy or sell a home, or simply want to keep a pulse on the Pittsburgh real estate market (mainly the suburbs of North Huntingdon and Penn Township) visit me at adamslivka.com and sign up for my FREE newsletter. If you're serious about buying or selling feel free to call me at 724-863-3300 ext 231.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Tips For Home Buyers & Sellers In Future Featured Articles

Thanks to Adam for this great article. These are just some of the things you want to make sure you've taken care of when setting about to purchase a home. Look for more tips in future Featured Articles, here in the "Costa Real Estate Digest".

If you have immediate real estate needs, and you're in Pennsylvania, Adam could be a great help.

If you're in Southern California and you're seriously considering buying or selling real estate … now is a great time. BUT … you want to make sure you have the best agent working for you and representing your interest. If you're in, or getting prepared to be in the Southern California real estate market … contact Brion Costa before you make any serious moves. If you've looked at this site, you know Brion has the "chops" to protect your interests … and to get the job done.

Use the "Contact Me" page on this website, and Brion will contact you within 24 hours! We'd love to speak with you.

Tips For Home Buyers.

California Home Sales Continue Momentum, Even As Inventory Slide Continues

California Home Sales:
The Story Is The Lack Of Inventory

California Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

California home sales numbers are increasing and prices are rising over this same period last year.

California Home Sales Continue At A Brisk Pace …
Even As Inventory Shrinks Again

More good numbers posted as California Home Sales continue to display momentum. The real story, though, is the lack of inventory. Statewide, the Unsold Inventory Index is down to 3.1 months. That's down from 5.5 months in October of last year. A supply of 6 to 7 months is considered normal for the state, so we're way undersupplied at present.

Here's an article from the San Jose Mercury News that lays out all the numbers.

Sales continue momentum, even as inventory slide continues

"California's housing market c

ontinued its momentum in October, posting strong year-over-year sales and price gains in nearly every county of the state, according to the latest California Association of Realtors' latest sales and price report. The lack of inventory, however, is causing a dilemma in many counties, especially in Silicon Valley" … San Jose Mercury News

California Home Sales Expected To Continue Lively Activity

Most analysts expect California home sales to continue being very active as we move into the new year. Confidence in the stability of the market is growing, and buyers are coming to the realization that now is actually a good time to purchase, if they can qualify. As to when the inventory crunch might begin to abate … that's anybody's guess. Looking at seasonal trends, we might see the beginnings of an increase in the Spring … moving into the summer "Selling Season". However, many influences will play into this and a significant increase in inventory may be a ways off..

California Home Sales.

San Fernando Valley Home Sales Surge … Prices Rise

San Fernando Valley Home Sales Surge … Prices Rise

San Fernando Valley Home Sales | Costa Real Estate Digest

San Fernando Valley Home Sales Paint Picture Of A Market In Rebound

San Fernando Valley Home Sales Figures For October Show 1510 Homes Changed Hands

In a marked improvement in figures from October of last year, San Fernando Valley Home Sales figures show that activity jumped and so did values. In another good sign for the local real estaqte market, October's figures showed a 25% jump in activity and a 10% jump in value over the same month last year.

Here's a report from Gregory Wilcox of the Los Angeles Daily News that breaks it all down.

San Fernando Valley home sales surge, prices rise

"By Gregory J. Wilcox, Staff Writer – The San Fernando Valley's housing market roared to life in October, with sales surging 25 percent from a year ago and the median price increasing 10 percent." … Los Angeles Daily News

Could Recent San Fernando Valley Home Sales Numbers Reflect Buyer's Growing Understanding Of The Market?

It's a difficult thing to "play" a market correctly. It's counterintuitive at best. When analysts talk about a market being "down", that doesn't help to motivate the average consumer into "jumping in". However, the savvy Investor knows that profits are made by "buying in a down market" and "selling in an up market". Even though this is common knowledge … it's not a common activity to the average home buyer.

Could this recent activity be a reflection that home buyers are beginning to feel comfortable in this market? REO's are no longer driving the market and it has become more "traditional" and "normal". The recent numbers posted in San Fernando Valley Home Sales could be the indication that Buyer's are becoming more comfortable with the market in general. We will have to wait and see.

San Fernando Valley Home Sales.

Real Estate Values: Is There A National Real Estate Recovery?

Real Estate Values:
Is There A National Real Estate Recovery?

Real Estate Values | Costa Real Estate Digest | Ken Harney

Ken Harney

Indicators Of Real Estate Values Nationwide Actually Show A Mixed Picture

We've been hearing a lot lately about how real estate values are going up, activity is mounting, sales are brisk … blah blah blah. Well, all that's true, if you're looking at specific, narrow markets.

When looked at in a nation-wide perspective, real estate values are giving a definite "mixed message". First off, when you study these numbers nationally, it becomes obvious that … at least right now … there IS no "national" real estate market. What we mean to say is that, at present, market activity is fragmented and segmented into smaller areas. None of the market activity we see right now is strong enough to bleed into surrounding areas and become a regional or national trend. This city is up … that one's down … and nothing is strong enough to unite the market into one definite trend.

Here's a report from Forbes, written by Ken Harney. He discusses this concept in depth here: 

Is There a National Real Estate Recovery?

"Is American real estate in full recovery?  Or something closer to half recovery? New data compiled from multiple listing services across the country suggest it’s the latter. Though they get relatively little public attention, the stark fact is that more than half (75 out of 146) of the top metropolitan real estate markets surveyed by Realtor.com in its latest monthly study are not seeing anything like a recovery." …Forbes


Real Estate Values Still Depend On Health Of Local Economies

The upshot of this whole thing is fairly obvious, actually. Real estate values in a certain area depend on the health of the local economy. Is it producing jobs? Is housing affordable in the area, and do enough folks qualify for loans to feed the market? There are lots of questions like this that will determine the status of a local real estate market.

Until a lot of smaller local economies all answer "Yes" to those types of questions … and answer that way together … then these small markets remain fragmented and seperate. In this current state, there is no "national" trend in real estate values, only local ones.

Real Estate Values.

Southern California Home Sales: Inland Empire Foreclosure Market Drying Up

Southern California Home Sales:
Inland Empire Foreclosure Market
Drying Up

Southern California Home Sales - Inland Empire foreclosure Market Drying Up

(Will Lester/Inland Empire Daily Bulletin Staff Photographer)
A bank owned property sits empty in the Fontana community of Sierra Lakes Thursday afternoon January 17, 2008. The Sierra Lakes community was ground zero for foreclosures in San Bernardino County at the time.

Southern California Home Sales Market Marked By Lack Of REO Properties

The Inland Empire has recently been known as the "Foreclosure Capital" of the nation. Recent trends in Southern California home sales show that this might no longer be the case. The numbers of available foreclosure properties on the market has dropped drastically, and REO properties are no longer driving the Southern California home sales market.

Here's a Report from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

Inland Empire foreclosure market drying up

"From January of 2007 to December of 2008, repossessed homes on the market went from 57 to 4,664 in San Bernardino County … Today there are 317, according to Jerry Gusman with Realty Executive Experts in Rancho Cucamonga …"


Southern California Home Sales Market Still Not "Healthy"

"In a healthy real-estate market," said Redlands real-estate agent Patricia Hicks, "we should have about six months' inventory. The last 90 days we have only a two-month supply of homes."

The Southern California Home Sales market is still by no means "healthy". There are many signs still causing concern as the market tries to claw out of the pit. One of those signs is the fact that the "Missing Foreclosures" are actually still there. They are simply not making it to the public market and into your local MLS. They are being sold in bulk on the local courthouse steps to investors buying hundreds of properties at once.

Southern California Home Sales.

Commercial Real Estate: Architectural Firm Billings Up

Commercial Real Estate:
Archtectural Firm's Billings Are Up

Commercial Real Estate | Costa Real Estate Digest

Architectural Firms Increase Billing In Good News For Commercial Real Estate Market

One of the leading indicators of commercial real estate … the billing activity for architecture firms regarding commercial real estate structures … shows some good news for the market. This Business Insider report tells us that "Billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010."

This is good news for the commercial real estate market, but there is a long lag-time in this indicator … the time between completion of design and actual sale of a project can be as long as two years. This would indicate that commercial real estate is not yet out of the doldrums, but could be heading there.

A Key Leading Indicator For Commercial Real Estate Hits Its Highest Level In …

"Billings at architecture firms accelerated to their strongest pace of growth since December 2010. " … Business Insider


Actual Commercial Real Estate Not Out Of The Woods Yet

It should be noted here, that most of this increase in billing by architectural firms relates to design of multi-family residential units. We know that demand in this area is on the upswing as large numbers of families have been displaced as "homeowners", and are now in need of rental properties as residences. The need for building design has so far been in this area, and is not yet a reflection of overall demand in the area of commercial real estate.

Commercial Real Estate