10 Red Flags To Watch For When Buying A Home

10 Red Flags To Watch For When Buying A Home

You’ve probably heard people describe nightmare scenarios on television or in person about finding something out about a home after they’ve purchased it. Most of the time the new homeowner will find themselves angry and skeptical of the recent selling party for potentially not disclosing something. The best way to avoid having to figure out what to do in that moment is to thoroughly inspect the home before the purchase is completed – specifically during the contracted inspection period. Well, here are some of the main issues that are worth combing over when inspecting a home.

 

10 Red Flags To Watch For When Buying A Home

Every house is different, and having someone help you investigate is probably a good idea unless if you consider yourself a real estate expert already. If you do want some advice feel free to contact me with the information provided below, or by submitting a question or comment below.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

How Long Do Appliances Typically Last? – The Appliance Cheat Sheet

When you’re looking to buy a house there are a lot of things to consider. One of the categories of items to consider is the condition and age of the working components of the house, like the appliances. Knowing about how long appliances tend to last could be very useful information while negotiating your original terms, and also for if you need to renegotiate terms due to advice given to you by an inspector during your agreed upon inspection period.

This conversation could be somewhat null and void if a home warranty is in place, insuring much of the working components of a home. For more information on this and other real estate related quandaries shoot a message on over to your home boy!

 

Appliance Cheat Sheet

 

If you’d like to ask me a question directly please feel free to reach out to me by phone or email listed below, or you can fill in the info box with your question or comment.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723
 

Planner Shares System For Managing Money – Business Insider

Planner Shares System For Managing Money – Business Insider

Being a real estate agent is often a lot like being a party planner. There are several people and issues that need to be kept up with, and consistently held to account. Part of making sure that the party goes off without a hitch when working with a homebuyer is making sure that they have a financial plan to execute the purchase. Most people like to keep their finances rather private, so it’s important that people know that making that plan can be done in private. I often recommend that people use a few different free services to monitor their finances and credit: Mint.com, and Credit Karma. They both run ads, but if you can just ignore those you can be a step ahead. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about either one of those services. Now, read this article and if you don’t have these basic financial tools in place start setting them up. You can do it – now let’s make a plan and throw that party!

If you are seriously wanting to get your financial house in order you might reach out to an accountant/cpa and maybe even a financial planner to look at how you can use your money to best fit you life and goals. And you might also talk to an estate planner in case you are worried about what will happen to your assets in the case of you passing away. My sister Claire is actually an estate planner and you are more than welcome to call her to ask about what that looks like, just tell her that I sent you. 🙂

Claire Bailey,  Bailey and Poarch: (405) 329-6600

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

 

“A few years ago, I put in place a ‘Money Flow’ system to help my family track our spending.”

A Financial Planner Shares Her Personal System For Managing Money

family walking beach winter

The author’s family is not pictured.Flickr / James Brown

Part of the reason we accumulate debt is that there are so many distractions in our lives – things we want to buy but don’t need.

But we also ring up debt because we simply don’t understand the flow of our income and expenses, so we can’t accurately estimate how much money we have available to spend.

I’ve struggled with this myself. A few years ago, I put in place a “Money Flow” system to help my family track our spending.

You may have heard of a system like this before, but follow along on this tour, because it really works.

Putting the pieces in place

1. Set up two free checking accounts:

  • One to pay fixed expenses (such as the mortgage, car payments and utility bills).
  • One to pay variable expenses (groceries, gas, clothing and so on).

2. Set up a high-yield online savings account.

We call this our “curveball” account. It’s an emergency fund for use when life throws us curveballs – large medical bills, a job loss or reduction in income, major home repairs, that kind of thing.

3. Make a plan for big-ticket items.

My husband and I agreed that we would use one family credit card for large purchases, such as airline tickets and hotel stays. We still have our separate credit cards – it’s wise to keep your own credit cards to maintain your credit score and credit history. Using them once or twice a year should be sufficient. And don’t close those cards because it will affect your overall credit score.

Implementing the system

1. Draw up a budget for fixed and variable expenses.

Add up how much you need in each category. This will be your guideline for how much should be in each of your checking accounts.

Fixed expenses might include:

  • Rent or mortgage payment
  • Property taxes
  • Utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.)
  • Home, auto and umbrella insurance
  • Life, disability and long-term-care insurance premiums
  • Health insurance premiums (if not taken out of your paycheck)
  • Cable TV, Internet, phone and cellphone
  • Gym or yoga memberships
  • Debt payments (credit cards, student loans, car loans, personal loans, etc.)
  • Savings (yes, this is an expense – pay yourself first!)

Variable expenses might include:

  • Groceries
  • Eating out
  • Gas
  • Clothing/shoes
  • Personal services (haircuts, doctor visit copays, etc.)
  • Entertainment

2. Distribute money to the accounts.

When your paycheck comes in, allocate the designated amounts into each checking account based on the budget you created. The sum earmarked for the curveball account can go there directly.

3. Pay fixed costs directly.

All bills are paid automatically from our fixed-expenses account. We do not have to write any checks, and no debit card is necessary. This account has a cushion of a few hundred extra dollars in case a bill shows up unexpectedly or before we have a chance to replenish the account.

4. Pay variable expenses from the second account.

This account should have a debit card, which you can use for purchases.

5. Link the curveball account to either checking account.

If an emergency arises, you can transfer funds within 24 to 48 hours. You can then access the money with a check or debit card.

Realizing the benefits

Once I implemented this system, the process of tracking expenses wasn’t so cumbersome anymore. Separating expenses into fixed and variable categories meant I didn’t have to worry constantly about checking account balances. Having fewer transactions in each account also made it easier to see the bigger picture of our spending.

The chart below depicts the flow of money.

Money Flow Chart2

* After taxes and pre-tax retirement plan contributions.Chart courtesy of MainStreet Financial Planning

Every family’s finances are different, of course. Feel free to customize my system as necessary. The point is to get – and keep – a grasp on the flow of your money. If you know exactly what’s coming in and going out, you can’t be surprised by debt.

Source: Planner shares system for managing money – Business Insider

5 Predictions for the Housing Market in 2016 – NerdWallet

5 Predictions for the Housing Market in 2016 – NerdWallet

One thing that seems more and more clear to me is that so goes millennials so goes the nation in next decade. If millennials decide not to buy houses there is going to be a large wealth shift – we will become even more of a renter society. So, a stable housing market that young people want to participate in matters. A lot of people are outraged by our nation, and world’s growing wealth gap (and in many ways rightfully so), but not participating in ownership of housing could be one of the greatest factors in the next great wealth shift. A lot of numbers show that young people do want to own their own stuff, and have a more self-sustaining lifestyle in a lot of ways. I’m just very curious which direction my peers and I are going to trend towards in regards to housing.

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723

5 Predictions for the Housing Market in 2016

  February 5, 2016  Home Search, Mortgages

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5-predictions-for-housing-market-in-2016

A New Year brings new opportunities, and that’s certainly true if you’re looking to sell or buy a home in 2016. What exactly does the year ahead have in store for housing?

Industry experts point to a lot of promising signs — moderate increases in prices and sales, the creation of more households, and an improving job market — for the national housing picture in 2016. But the gains won’t look like they have over the past two years, and we’ll see more local housing markets stabilizing in the near future. And that’s a good thing.

After the deluge of damaging foreclosures and short sales that flooded U.S. cities during the downturn, a number of housing markets have recovered in a big way in recent years, to the relief of homeowners and economic analysts alike. In 2013, there were 5.09 million existing-home sales nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors. In 2014, sales dropped by 3.1% to 4.93 million. Although final figures for 2015 are not yet available, NAR predicted existing-home sales would close out the year at 5.3 million — nearly 7% higher than the previous year.

With NAR forecasting existing-home sales to rise by 3% to 5.45 million in 2016, experts say we’ll start seeing more balance return to the housing market in the near future.

Here’s a closer look at five key housing predictions for 2016:

1. Rising rates will squeeze first-time homebuyers most

The Fed’s move to increase interest rates in December reflects the major strides the U.S. economy has made as it emerges from the Great Recession. Higher rates (though they haven’t happened yet), along with rising prices and limited supply, will make it harder for some to afford a new home. The good news: Long-term mortgage rates will see only a gradual increase this year and will remain relatively low compared with what they were before the downturn.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged under 4% for most of 2015, will average 4.4% this year, according to Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, housing data firm CoreLogic, in its latest U.S. Economic Outlook report, predicts mortgage rates will increase roughly half a percentage point in 2016 over 2015.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or you earn a lower income and haven’t had a raise lately, the rate increase might make it harder for you to afford a home. For the most part, though, a slight rate bump isn’t cause for panic and is unlikely to sideline most potential homebuyers, says Christian Redfearn, an associate professor of real estate at the University of Southern California.

Increasing mortgage rates will clamp down on refinancing activity as fewer homeowners will have enough incentives to refinance their current mortgages, according to CoreLogic. As a result, the firm is forecasting refinance originations to decrease by one-third this year.

2. Sales will rise, but modestly

Even though mortgage rates are rising, home sales will still be up about 3% this year as existing homeowners jump into the selling pool, according to a forecast from the National Association of Realtors.

After years of depressed prices, many homeowners have regained much of the equity they lost in the downturn, so they may seek to cash in on that value and sell in 2016 to move up to their next home, NAR President Tom Salomone says. In some markets, though, prices have increased too quickly, causing a bumpy recovery that’s priced out some potential homebuyers, he says.

“We don’t want these big peaks and valleys we’ve seen since the downturn,” Salomone says. “Steady, sustainable growth is what we’re after.”

As the economy continues to grow and more jobs are added, potential homebuyers with strong credit will be more willing to jump into the market too, Salomone says.

3. House prices will increase, too, but not at 2015 levels

Another trend that sellers in particular will appreciate: Home prices will rise again this year by 4% to 5% as demand increases faster than supply, according to CoreLogic. Although the increase in home prices will outpace inflation, it’s less than the 6% increase seen in 2015.

The more measured growth of home sales and prices is good news for the millions of younger Americans who are on the cusp of homeownership. However, experts agree that a shortage of housing inventory and new construction, which leads to bidding wars and competitive market conditions, will fuel higher home prices until more sellers enter the market or more homes are built.

“We haven’t built enough housing for a long time,” Redfearn says.

4. Housing demand will be up

The improving job market has been a boon for new household formations, a term that refers to configurations of people who live together under one roof, be it you and a few roommates, a married couple, a nuclear family of four, or just you. This increase will continue in 2016, with more than 1.25 million new households expected to be formed.

Millennials — all 83.1 million of them — now outnumber baby boomers and comprise more than a quarter of the U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau. Many of them are moving out of their parents’ homes, getting married or having children. As they do, these young Americans will create higher housing demand, particularly for rental homes.

This new surge in demand is expected to spur more construction of single-family homes and multifamily apartment buildings, but not at the pace needed to keep up with new households. NAR forecasts 1.3 million single-family housing starts this year, but the country needs 1.5 million to keep pace with demand.

Freddie Mac predicts total housing starts will increase 16% from 2015 to 2016, but it’s still not enough. That’s why more people are turning to the rental market, which is faced with a similar crunch.

5. Rents will also rise

Construction of multifamily homes will increase this year, but there’s still a shortage of rental homes for the millions who need them. Rental vacancy rates are at or near their lowest level in 30 years, according to the CoreLogic report. Accordingly, rents in 2016 will continue to rise faster than inflation, CoreLogic predicts.

With rents climbing, it’s no wonder so many millennials struggle to afford a down payment. For starters, 41% of them are saddled with student loans that frequently run into the tens of thousands, according to NAR. Plus, wages are growing slowly or not at all as rents and other living costs get steeper. It’s a combination of challenges that makes it hard to save for a down payment on a home, experts say.

Homeownership rates will dip slightly again this year as the number of new households that rent exceeds the number of new homebuyers. However, 94% of renters under 34 surveyed by NAR say they still want to buy a home in the future, and that bodes well for a more balanced market in the years to come, Salomone says.

The bottom line

The housing market has come a long way since the Great Recession, but the recovery has been uneven, and some areas still have a long way to go.

A sustainable housing market, Salomone says, is one that’s fair for both buyers and sellers. All the signs we’ve mentioned point to a more balanced road ahead for housing, but it’ll take a little more time to get there.

Let’s Play A Little Game – Buying A Home

Let’s Play A Little Game – Buying A Home

Ok, let’s play a little game. Let’s say you pay about $800 per month in rent, and you are interested in keeping some of your money. Let’s imagine that you bought a house for about $120k, and put 10% down, with current rates your payment could be about that same $800 per month. If you held onto that house for 10 years (as a primary residence or as a rental property), and it increased in value by about 1% per year you would have quite a bit of equity!!!

Maybe you’d want a house for a different price, and with a different down payment, everyone’s situation is a little different.
Rates have been historically low, but they’ll have to go up even more eventually. Buying isn’t always a good idea for everybody, but have you looked into whether or not it’s a good idea for you? Call/message/email me if you are interested in finding out what all of this hoopla is about! 🏡 #Oklahoma #RealEstate

Grady Carter
Realtor®, GRI
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Lic. #160723
(405)474-2905
HomeBoyOK@gmail.com

 

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Just Listed: Gorgeous Golf Course Home in Norman!!!

Just Listed: Gorgeous Golf Course Home in Norman!!!

Click Here To See The Listing

Well hello there!

In Real Estate  every transaction is unique. Sometimes hearing that a property is unique can be problematic, but sometimes it is a great thing! In the case of my newest listing in Norman located at 4601 Augusta Drive being unique is fantastic! Located just a few minutes south of the University of Oklahoma campus it manages to feel like a getaway outside of town. Backing up to the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course (which is currently being managed by, and soon to be owned by The University), and having several upgrades and amenities this house was designed to entertain. You’ll honestly just have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it. My personal favorite part is the amazing back porch that has a TV case, wet bar, fire pit, and multiple sitting areas. So go ahead, grab your agent (and if you don’t have one feel free to give me a call), and schedule an appointment to see this beautiful home!

$350,000

Active
Description:

This fantastic split bedroom home was built for getting away, and entertaining! It is located on the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course, and has a grand outdoor entertainment area equipped with: a partial kitchen, fire pit, and 3 sitting areas that back up to the golf course! The owners have taken great care of it and upgraded a litany of items, including: huge patio (with a TV, cooking area, extra lighting, and wet bar), extra large driveway, sprinkler system, water softener & water purifier, invisible pet fence, mosquito system, attic decking+shelving, and landscaping. The master suite is large with a very big walk-in closet and bathroom. If you are looking for a place to get away in town, we’ve got a deal for you! The home just appraised for $350,000, and the seller is simply asking for the appraised value, so come and take a look for yourself!

HOA includes: Golf Course, Pool, Club House, and Maintenance for Neighborhood Entry.