An exclusive contract with a real estate agent applies to both sellers and buyers. Is your real estate agent asking you to sign an exclusive listing agreement or buyer-broker contract? What is an exclusive contract with a real estate agent? Find out what these contracts mean and how it can be massively beneficial for you either as a seller or a buyer.READ MORE
There are various home buying fees you need to budget for if you’re thinking of purchasing a home.
In my latest Facebook Live session with Bree, I’ll be sharing my advice for those thinking about becoming first-time real estate investors.
What is like to be a buyer in the spring? Today I’ll answer a few questions from my guest Bree about the spring market.
We recently met with Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran to shoot a commercial. We would love for you to watch and let us know what you think.READ MORE
I recently did a Q&A on Facebook Live about how homeowners can buy and sell a home at the same time. Here’s the full conversation.
Realtors can provide many insights into neighborhoods, economic trends, and home pricing – all while taking your family’s well-being into consideration. The line of questions typically begins with: What are you looking for in a home? Are you approved for a loan? Are there any specific locations you are considering? How much are you looking to spend?
The answers to these questions will give the Realtor a baseline to make recommendations of homes to their clients and advice based on the dollar amount a buyer would like to spend.
When this happens, the question “What can you afford?” has taken the place of “What do you actually need?” as the starting point for most home buyers. This line of thinking has resulted in a deep over-housing problem. Over-housing is the concept of paying too much money for housings, in relation to one’s income.
For that reason – you should always start your home search focusing on one critical question that many Realtors may ever tell you:
Buy only the home you need, not the house you can afford.
Don’t let yourself fall into the mindset of “buy as much and as big as possible”. Too often, the dollar amount that a lender has approved for the home buyer becomes the starting price range that the buyer begins searching for.
For example, if a buyer is pre-approved for a $500,000 loan, many buyers begin searching for the biggest house they can afford for exactly $500,000. Often times, this is encouraged by the lender and/or Realtor. This is because the larger the sale, the greater their profit.
Buyers too often create a list of “wants” for their new home while “actual need” is disregarded completely.
Bigger and more is so frequently interpreted to mean better. This ideology has resulted in the average American home tripling in size in the last 50 years. With little regard for the negative consequences, buyers too often purchase bigger and bigger homes, whatever size their income allows.
This thinking has detrimental effects on our well-being. We typically use on 40% of our living space on a regular basis. Meanwhile, the increased debt can contribute to mental and emotional distress. All of this excess space carries additional financial cost – whether the square footage is being used or not.
More is not always better. There are benefits to living in a smaller home. It is easier to maintain, less expensive, assumes less financial risk, results in less environmental impact, and frees up our resources to pursue life’s other passions.
Buying a home is a personal decision that should never be taken lightly. Only you know all the variables that will come into play when making your decision. But too often, the most important piece of home buying advice is what you hear least: Buy only the home you need, not the house you can afford.READ MORE
Generation Progress, a national progressive advocacy and action network for young people, recently cited data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which shed positive light on the Millennial labor market - especially for ages 25 - 34. Older Millennials have a much higher percentage of labor force participation than the national average.
Buying a first home could be a reality for many Millennials who are actively working and earning better salaries than years past. If you have already been planning on buying a first home - is it really time to take the plunge?
Buying a home is more complicated than it seems. The home you may be able to afford now, may not be your forever home. The most common type of home purchased remains the detached single-family home. The best approach is to weigh your options on whether to buy a starter home or keep saving for purchasing down the road.
Mortgage rates are low - so it is a terrific time to buy. Sales are rising, supply is dropping, and prices have increased in many areas. Compared to next year, today's market may be a bargain. If you choose strategically - you may be making a wise investment that will build future value.
Do the math. You may have enough money stashed away for a down payment, but that does not include closing costs, property taxes, maintenance, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, landscaping, etc. It is estimated that maintenance and repairs can total 1 - 2% of your annual mortgage costs.
So how does a Millennial move forward? Take a deep breath and compare your budget with your expectations. Consider things like your potential family size and your job/income flow. Compare the total amount of money you will be spending over time, and subtract the potential value you may receive if you someday sell the property.
Most starter homes are only intended to be lived in for 5 years. Many young buyers are looking for close proximity to urban areas. There are so many factors to consider when buying a starter home, and the decisions are not easy. We believe in homeownership, but realize that loans bring stress and responsibility. However, you may look back over your decisions in life and be disappointed by the opportunities that you passed on. Get out there and explore, dream, and discover. Don't be afraid to take chances when the timing is right.READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal’s #1 Ranked High-End Team in Charleston, SC
“At Matt O'Neill Real Estate, our first core value is integrity and we ALWAYS put our client's needs before our own. This is the reason over 1/2 of our business comes by way of referral and why we are one of the top-selling real estate teams in the country."