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2015 - Spring Buying Advice: From time to time I see an article regarding home-buying that I believe is relevant and useful. On March 24, 2015, posted an article with good advice for buyers.  I thought I'd post/share their article and offer some complimentary advice and opinions of my own.  If you have any thoughts, questions, or comments; feel free to email them to me at


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5 Spring Home Buying Strategies - Daily real estate news 3/24/2015 Comments of Steve Freeman, REALTOR
The spring home-buying boom is underway, and this year buyers in some markets will face an increased amount of competition due to low housing inventory. In fact, the most recent existing-home sales report from the National Association of REALTORS cautions that "Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices."

Real estate professionals around the country are echoing the concern about the lack of available housing options. "The [housing] recovery appears slow due to a lack of inventory and a low participation rate among first-time buyers, but its still a competitive sellers market," says David Yocum, a Redfin agent from Chicago.

In order to be successful in competitive markets, buyers need to be strategic in how they approach finding their dream home. Here are five tips they can incorporate into their home buying process that will prepare them with all of the information they need.

I am inclined to agree that inventory is getting squeezed, sort of.  The real way to frame this is that affordable inventory is getting squeezed. The purchasing power of last year is not as strong this year, meaning you get a little less for the same price - or you get the same features and amenities, but you pay a little more for them this year.  

The overall quantity of homes on the market is relatively unchanged over last years levels; it's just that prices are sliding upwards.

Step Away from the Computer

Despite the fact that 90 percent of home buyers start their search online, buyers should also consider getting outside and canvassing their desired neighborhoods. In a low inventory market, it's important to to be proactive and not waste time weighing options, because by that time, the property might be off the market. "In our market we hope for a burst of new inventory in the spring, but that doesnt always happen," cautions Richard Seaton, vice president at TTR Sothebys International Realty in the Washington, D.C., area. "Even if that burst comes, demand will outstrip supply, so buyers have to be in a position to make a decision quickly."

Stepping away, at least temporarily, may be a good idea; as long as you are using your time productively.  Hop in your car and go driving! If you think a home in town is in your future, divide the town into quarters and drive each quarter until you are familiar with it.  Find what's important to you - neighborhood feel/character, proximity to schools, places of worship, shopping and employment are excellent factors to consider. 

That said, always check back to CountyRealty's property search in your price range, and desired township daily.  The database updates once a day Monday-Friday, and often on Saturday and Sunday too.  

Get to Know the Current Housing Market

Every housing market is different, so it's important to do research on the market and neighborhood trends. Finding a good real estate agent and keeping up with local real estate news is crucial for buyers to understand the nuances of their local housing market. "Buyers need to get up to cartier replica sale speed quickly on market values so they know the right decision when it presents itself," says Yocum. "The more quickly buyers can educate themselves, the more successful the home search will be."

Keeping track of neighborhood trends, to me, means watching for new construction; watching for pride of ownership; and watching for sales and price trends.  This ties nicely with the suggestion to step away from the computer and go for a drive!  There are no informative, current, or relevant newsletters  that might help someone understand these things.  

When it comes to sales price trends, CountyRealty provides integrated sales data within price ranges that go back 365 days; and it's right there in the Property Search function. (A=Available, S=Sold)  Because CountyRealty is database-driven, sales data as far back as 1993 can be retrieved.  There are also annual sales reports in PDF files already on the website now, available for replica watches sale registered users.  Custom and YTD reports are available upon request. 

Grab Those Low Mortgage RatesBefore it's too Late

While mortgage rates continue to hover below four percent, buyers might not be able to enjoy these low rates forever. "With all indications pointing to a rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year perhaps as early as this summer affordability concerns could heighten as home prices and rents both continue to exceed wages," says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

I've said repeatedly - there is no benefit whatsoever in waiting to call your lender and get prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage. Do it today!  

Smart buyers have their finances all set when they venture into the home buying process.  If, holding all things equal, you were a seller and had two identical offers; one from a prequalified and preapproved buyer; and the other from someone who isn't - what offer would you accept?

It is just smart to get your mortgage all lined up, and do it today.  

Create a Dynamic Team

The fast pace of the most competitive housing markets means buyers have to be in a position to make an offer at a moment's notice. Before making an offer, buyers need to ensure they've lined up a real estate professional, a lender, a lawyer, and a home inspector. They will also want to be pre-approved for a loan and ready to complete a mortgage application as soon as they find a property.

This paragraph offers smart advice. I know of replica watches uk a few home inspectors I can recommend. You can also use a lawyer and I know of a few of those as well; but normally a lawyer isn't a required component of the team.  It never hurts to have legal counsel; but it isn't required. 
Source: "Spring 2015 Home-Buying Guide: 5 Insider Tips From Real Estate Pros Across the Country," Learnvest (March 9, 2015) Questions and comments welcomed!

I, Steve Freeman, am a licensed and very independent real estate broker in Indiana.  I only work with rational human beings. I've been serving Jackson County Indiana exclusively since 1995. In 2000 I earned the prestigious Jackson County REALTOR of the Year Award.  I am a member of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR); the Indiana Association of REALTORS (IAR); the Jackson County Board of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service (MLS); Jackson County Landlord Association; First United Methodist Church; Seymour Evening Lions Club, and the National Rifle Association.  

CountyRealty.Com is wholly owned by Steve Freeman  2000-INFINITY; All Rights Reserved. CountyRealty is committed to the letter and spirit of the US policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. CountyRealty encourages and supports affirmative advertising and marketing programs in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

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