Latest Event Updates

Selling Your Home “As-Is”

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Bev Curtis & Associates | House of Brokers Realty
Selling your home as isThinking about selling your home but not sure you want to make needed repairs before listing it for sale? You’re in luck! These days, many homes are being sold “as-is” due to an ever-increasing lack of inventory.

An “as-is” home sale proposition releases home sellers from liabilities and repairs stemming from the home’s condition post-sale. That doesn’t mean a prospective buyer can’t request an inspection. It just means that the seller is not responsible for whatever the buyer discovers in that inspection. So if the inspection reveals issues, you can still sell your home.

If the home in question is a foreclosure, home buyers may be able to negotiate repairs a little more easily with a bank, particularly as they relate to safety hazards.

However regular home sales or short sales are often a different story. Time is generally a motivating factor and multiple offers may speed the process. Home sellers offering a good price are not going to want to do needed repairs if they can sell the property “as-is” to an anxious buyer.

Check local statutes and discuss them with an established real estate expert in your area to determine what you must disclose about your home, before deciding to sell. If you question the integrity of some area of your home, an “as-is” sale may be just the thing!


Single Women Are Buying Homes At Twice The Rate Of Men

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A few decades ago, a single woman buying real estate on her own was a rarity.

Single Women Are Buying Homes At Twice The Rate Of Men

Before the Fair Housing Act of 1968, few women could get approved for a credit card, much less a mortgage, without a husband’s or father’s signature.

Now that’s all changed. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that since the mid-1990s, single women have purchased homes at nearly twice the rate of single men.

Last year, single female homeowners made up 18 percent of household composition in the association’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, compared to 10 percent for single men.

Julie Cook, a public relations professional in Michigan, recently closed on her first home, a three-bedroom ranch outside Detroit. After living in New York City and paying sky-high rent for a few years, the Detroit native recently moved back to the area and decided to take advantage of more affordable home prices.

“At this point, it was a better way to spend my money than putting it into rent,” she says. “I might as well get equity.” She lived with her parents for three months while she saved money for a down payment and browsed properties with her real estate agent. She secured an FHA loan earlier this year and moved into her new house last month.

[See: A Step-by-Step Guide to Homebuying in Today’s Market.]

Interest rates have begun inching back up in recent weeks, so Cook considers herself lucky to have locked in a low rate even as the closing process dragged on. “The hardest part was the wait,” she says. “FHA takes a little bit longer because of the additional layer of policy and law.”

Although she originally pictured living in a loft with a convenient downtown location that requires little maintenance, Cook says her real estate agent encouraged her to consider other types of properties. She says she’s happy to have found a house with a small, manageable yard in a safe neighborhood. “I’m half a mile from restaurants and culture, and I’m able to ride my bike,” she says. “Location was a big part of it.”

According to Jessica Lautz, a manager of member survey research at NAR, neighborhood safety is a top consideration for single female homebuyers. “Their second most important factor is convenience to friends and family,” she says.

“Location, location, location” may be a common refrain in real estate circles, but clearly it’s not the only factor. “[Single women] are a very discriminating buyer,” says Karen Krupsaw, vice president of real estate operations at Redfin, a technology-powered real estate company. “I don’t think they’re unrealistic. They can see beyond the way [a house] may show as well as how they can fix it up and how it can be a dream home.”

Recent data from Redfin found that 46 percent of women buying alone said they first evaluate a home based on whether they love it, compared to 24 percent of men buying alone. The remaining 54 percent of women and 76 percent of men evaluate a home based on value and cost.

[Read: 3 Costly Mistakes of First-Time Homebuyers.]

Cost was a key factor for Cailin Heinze, a veterinary nutritionist and professor at Tufts University who closed on a home in Northborough, Mass., in May. “My rent was already ridiculous for a two-bedroom, and it was going to go up another $200,” she says. “I thought, if I buy now, this is probably the lowest interest rate that is probably going to be around for the foreseeable future.”

Still, Heinze says she was a bit anxious about putting in an offer and closing on the property because other than her educational costs, this was the most she’s ever spent. “It’s intimidating to think I will pay this much a month for the next 30 years,” she says, “but that’s how much I would pay in rent.”

Because the average salary for a woman still lags behind men’s (the American Association of University Women says women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes one year after graduation) and lenders favor two-income households over single earners, Lautz says women are “making the most sacrifices to get into a home, but they’re still placing a high value on owning a home of their own.”

Despite lower pay, women handle credit more responsibly than men, on average, according to Experian, which reports that men have a 7 percent higher incidence of late mortgage payments and 4.3 percent more debt than women.

[See: 10 Ways Your Home Can Pay You Money.]

Heinze plans to stay in her house for the foreseeable future, but Cook considers her home part of a long-term investment strategy. Cook has a 30-year mortgage with the option to pay it off early with no penalty, so she says she plans to live in the house and pay it off in four to five years before renting it out and moving into “more of a permanent long-term place with ideally a husband, or a boyfriend or whatever happens.”

For Heinze, solo homeownership carries a sense of pride. “[I’m] able to have a place that would be truly my own that I could decorate the way I wanted to,” she says, “and have some sort of stability.”

This story was originally published by Susan Johnston on U.S. News & World Report. See the original article here.

Helpful Selling Advice from one of our Realtors

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Andy Boyles | House of Brokers Realty

We are still experiencing somewhat of a seller’s market, but not in a way that has caused prices to drastically increase. Prices have remained fairly stable, however due to a shortage of homes offered for sale, we are seeing more competing buyers, multiple offers, and even close to (if not) full price offers.

With that said, if you are considering selling your home, it’s best to be as realistic as possible when it comes to pricing your home. Know your area comparables for recent sold properties and stay competitive within the market. Contact a knowledgeable Realtor to assist in properly preparing your home for the market, and also make educated decisions on pricing to sell.

As the saying still goes- “It’s a beauty contest and a price war to the door!”.

7 factors I go by to help my clients determine how fast a property will sell are:

1. Timing- When during the year the property goes on the market?

2. Location- Is the home located in a desirable location?

3. Condition- Is the house in good condition, or is there deferred maintenance ?

4. Marketing- What the Realtor does to get qualified buyers in the door.

5. Financing- Are mortgage terms going to help or hinder interested buyers?

6. Competition- How many other properties, like yours, are on the market?

7. Price- Will the price encourage interest or be a ‘turn off’?

The One Thing Successful People Never Do

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Success comes in all shapes and colours. You can be successful in your job and career but you can equally be successful in your marriage, at sports or a hobby. Whatever success you are after there is one thing all radically successful people have in common: Their ferocious drive and hunger for success makes them never give up.

Success winner woman

Successful people (or the people talking or writing about them) often paint a picture of the perfect ascent to success. In fact, some of the most successful people in business, entertainment and sport have failed. Many have failed numerous times but they have never given up. Successful people are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on trying.

I have collected some examples that should be an inspiration to anyone who aspires to be successful. They show that if you want to succeed you should expect failure along the way. I actually believe that failure can spur you on and make you try even harder. You could argue that every experience of failure increases the hunger for success. The truly successful won’t be beaten, they take responsibility for failure, learn from it and start all over from a stronger position.

Let’s look at some examples, including some of my fellow LinkedIn influencers:

Henry Ford – the pioneer of modern business entrepreneurs and the founder of the Ford Motor Company failed a number of times on his route to success. His first venture to build a motor car got dissolved a year and a half after it was started because the stockholders lost confidence in Henry Ford. Ford was able to gather enough capital to start again but a year later pressure from the financiers forced him out of the company again. Despite the fact that the entire motor industry had lost faith in him he managed to find another investor to start the Ford Motor Company – and the rest is history.

Walt Disney – one of the greatest business leaders who created the global Disney empire of film studios, theme parks and consumer products didn’t start off successful. Before the great success came a number of failures. Believe it or not, Walt was fired from an early job at the Kansas City Star Newspaper because he was not creative enough! In 1922 he started his first company called Laugh-O-Gram. The Kansas based business would produce cartoons and short advertising films. In 1923, the business went bankrupt. Walt didn’t give up, he packed up, went to Hollywood and started The Walt Disney Company.

Richard Branson – He is undoubtedly a successful entrepreneur with many successful ventures to his name including Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Music and Virgin Active. However, when he was 16 he dropped out of school to start a student magazine that didn’t do as well as he hoped. He then set up a mail-order record business which did so well that he opened his own record shop called Virgin. Along the way to success came many other failed ventures including Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, Virgin Clothes, Virgin Vie, Virgin cards, etc.

Oprah Winfrey – who ranks No 1 in the Forbes celebrity list and is recognised as the queen of entertainment based on an amazing career as iconic talk show host, media proprietor, actress and producer. In her earlier career she had numerous set-backs, which included getting fired from her job as a reporter because she was ‘unfit for television’, getting fired as co-anchor for the 6 O’clock weekday news on WJZ-TV and being demoted to morning TV.

J.K. Rowling – who wrote the Harry Potter books selling over 400 million copies and making it one of the most successful and lucrative book and film series ever. However, like so many writers she received endless rejections from publishers. Many rejected her manuscript outright for reasons like ‘it was far too long for a children’s book’ or because ‘children books never make any money’. J.K. Rowling’s story is even more inspiring because when she started she was a divorced single mum on welfare.

Bill Gates -co-founder and chairman of Microsoft dropped out of Harvard and set up a business called Traf-O-Data. The partnership between him, Paul Allen and Paul Gilbert was based on a good idea (to read data from roadway traffic counters and create automated reports on traffic flows) but a flawed business model that left the company with few customers. The company ran up losses between 1974 and 1980 before it was closed. However, Bill Gates and Paul Allen took what they learned and avoided those mistakes when they created the Microsoft empire.

History is littered with many more similar examples:

  • Milton Hershey failed in his first two attempts to set up a confectionary business.
  • H.J. Heinz set up a company that produced horseradish, which went bankrupt shortly after.
  • Steve Jobs got fired from Apple, the company he founded. Only to return a few years later to turn it into one of the most successful companies ever.

So, the one thing successful people never do is: Give up! I hope that this is inspiration and motivation for everyone who aspires to be successful in whatever way they chose. Do you agree or disagree with me? Are there other things you would add to the list of things successful people never do? Please share your thoughts…

This article was originally published by Bernard Marr, best-selling business author and enterprise performance expert, on Linked In. See the original article here

More Homes Coming to Market

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The bidding wars aren’t over yet, but some of the areas with the tightest inventory saw double-digit increases in the number of homes for sale between May and June.

© SuperStock
© SuperStock

Bidding wars aren’t over, but the number of homes listed for sale is increasing, by quite a bit in some of the tightest markets.

According to the latest National Housing Trend Report by, the number of homes listed for sale grew 4.26% from May to June, with a total of 1.93 million listed for sale nationwide.

The number of homes for sale grew significantly more in some areas where the inventory shortage had become the most acute, particularly in California.

“Inventories on reached their highest level in June since the beginning of 2013. We’re seeing increases as high as 51% month-over-month in many Southern California markets,” Steve Berkowitz, chief executive officer of Move, which operated, said in a news release. “Sellers are continuing to list homes at a steady pace into late June, which moves us past the traditional homebuying season, as mortgage interest rates continue to rise. These are all signs that the market recovery is continuing at a healthy pace.

The number of homes listed for sale nationwide in June was 7.29% below the number a year previously.

Some of the California cities where inventory was tightest showed double-digit increases in the number of homes for sale from May to June. Those included Orange County (up 51.54%), Los Angeles-Long Beach (up 45.69%), Riverside-San Bernardino (up 44.72%), Ventura (up 43.53%), San Diego (up 18.14%), Bakersfield (up 12.47%) and Oakland (up 12.14%).

Other cities showing big increases in inventory from May to June were Dayton-Springfield, Ohio (up 14.06%), Santa Fe, N.M. (up 13.82%) and Anchorage, Alaska (up 13.77%).

The only city that showed a double-digit decrease in inventory month-over-month was Naples, Fla., where the number of homes listed for sale dropped 10.49%.

The cities that showed the greatest decline in inventory year over year were Boston and suburbs (down 35.10% and down 9.98% from May); Denver (down 30.14% but up 2.06% from May); Boulder-Longmont, Colo. (down 26.52% and up 2.55% from May); and Detroit (down 25.66% and down 0.78% from May).

Redfin, which tracks real-estate sales in 19 major markets, also noted that the number of homes for sale was on the rise. While 70% of transactions still include multiple offers, that number is declining, Glenn Kelman wrote at the Redfin blog. He concluded:

What has happened after six years of depression, and six months of manic bubbliness, is that we have returned at last to a normal market: You’ll pay more now than you would have at the absolute bottom in late 2012, but there will be more – and better – homes to choose from, and a better chance of buying one.

This article was originally published by Teresa Mears on MSN Real Estate, July 16, 2013. To see the original article, click here.

Thought About Who Lives Next Door to Your Home Lately?

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Bev Curtis & Associates | House of Brokers Realty, Columbia MO |

NeighborsIf you’ve just moved into your home or are considering buying a new home, you may be wondering who lives next door. In this day and age with such busy lifestyles it can take awhile to meet your neighbors. However, for safety and community reasons, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and make some friends.

If you’re shy about reaching out, you can always turn to the latest neighborhood introductory tool, Next Door. Next Door allows you to meet your neighbors virtually and monitor neighborhood safety. You can also share recommendations or give and ask for advice, a helpful tool if you need a local contractor. If you’d like to start a neighborhood garage sale or host a block party, this is an easy way to get it started! You can even download an app for your smartphone to be updated when someone replies to your invitations or notices unusual activity near your home.

Used in more than 16,000 neighborhoods, this free private social network could be the answer to feeling more connected to your neighborhood and your home, even with your busy lifestyle. From finding the perfect babysitter or pediatrician to getting restaurant recommendations, Next Door can make your life easier and your neighborhood safer.

Bev Curtis & Associates is also always happy to help you get acquainted with the area.  Do not hesitate to call us at 573-864-5054.