Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

  I live and work in Nashville TN. Our nickname is Music City. People move here every day, in hopes of becoming either a songwriter or a star. As a songwriter, or a writer in general, you need inspiration. Something that will, seemingly, just come out of nowhere. Something that hits you between the eyes and speaks to you. It may be a trip that you took, it may be a sunset. It could be a heartbreak or an illness. So many things in our daily lives can inspire us if we are open to them. It can be the same in real estate. When you are looking to buy or sell a house, you have an inspiration. Something came into play that helped you make that decision. Did you take a job in a different area and want to move closer to work? Is your family growing and need more space? Are your aging parents needing help and you are looking to combine two households? Whatever your inspiration, buying and selling real estate can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your eye on the end game. Keep focused on the inspiration that got you here in the first place. If that inspiration is negative, then focus on how you will feel once it’s over and that chapter is closed. Some of the most award winning, popular, beautiful songs are written out of a negative place so don’t be afraid to go through it. When you come out on the other side, you will be a better, stronger version of yourself and you’ll have new inspirations for a new season. Once you get where you are going, there are entirely new inspirations to be found. What color will you paint the bedroom? What kind of stools will you put at the breakfast bar? What type of painting or art will look best in the living room? You may want to take from travels you have been on and infuse other cultures into your world or you may collect things you have seen at art fairs. However you enjoy to add life to your home, make it a piece of you. I believe, and hear from others, that when you walk into a home, it has a feel. You can feel the energy. What better energy than that of yourself. When others come into your home, they see a piece of you. They see your personality play out in the things that surround them. Make it yours and don’t apologize for it. Who cares if you don’t use this year’s “color of the year” or have the latest trend in countertops in your kitchen. If you love...

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You’re Not All That

You’re Not All That

  You’ve met them. Those people that the minute you meet them you know they think they were born to bless others with their presence. They think they can do nothing wrong and you are stupid if you think otherwise. Don’t you just want to tell them, “you’re not all that”? Yeah, it goes the same for some people in the real estate market. They think that their $20,000 under asking price, cash offer, first day on the market should make Sellers run to sign the papers and ask if they want all their furniture too. We have a great real estate market in the Nashville area. Over the past two years, I have taken many calls from real estate investors from other states that heard that Nashville was a great market and a great place to invest. They are looking for a “deal”. Well, those days are gone for now. Prices have risen, and Sellers are smart. I have had to explain to more than one person that while cash is great, if it doesn’t accompany a strong offer in other ways, it just might be “prince” instead of “king”. Certainly, there are circumstances where a cash offer makes most sense but if the offer price is a lowball offer, most Sellers will say, “No, thank you”. Think of it this way, if you are a Seller and your house is on the market for 2 days. You get two offers. One is for full price, is contingent on the Buyer’s 90% conventional loan and they are pre-approved by a reputable lender. The other offer is for $15,000 below asking price but is all cash. In most cases, Sellers would take the risk to make $15,000 more. However, the offer may have included things like no appraisal, or no inspection, in which case, the Seller may want to consider value and condition of their home prior to making that decision. I try to get my Buyers to be reasonable in their offers. It is never a good idea to offend or make a Seller mad with the spirit of negotiation in mind. Some people know it’s not personal while others take it very personally and are very offended by a lowball offer when a property is priced well and a Buyer is just out fishing for deals. Life and real estate is about compromise – negotiation. If you start off offending, chances are not good that you will come to a resolution and an outcome that you are hoping for. So, just because you have cash and think your *you know what* doesn’t *you know what*, doesn’t mean that you will get that house. They may just tell...

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Why Realtors Should Hang Out

Why Realtors Should Hang Out

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a networker. I network with CEO’s, musicians, blue collar workers, association and Chamber members, neighbors, and, yes, Realtors. When new real estate agents ask me for advice, I tell them they need to network with other agents. They often look at me like I’m crazy. They say, “I’m not going to sell a house to another Realtor.” Oh, but you ARE! Here are five reasons why Realtors should hang out. You can get the inside scoop on upcoming listings. I am in networks of Realtors that send me listings that are not yet on MLS for the public to see. This is hugely helpful in a competitive market when I have clients looking for a very popular type home. I can be ready to show it immediately when it is available. Sometimes they’ll let you in a listing FIRST.Every once in a while, clients prefer to take the hassle out of listing their house on MLS. They don’t want tons of people going through their house and would rather a few select people see it if it is likely to bring a good, quick offer. If you have a relationship with the listing agent, you may get to be one of the select few and save your client the hassle and disappointment of competing with other buyers. You may win for your client in a competitive market.I have had more than one instance where a Seller has chosen my Buyer’s contract over another one that may have even been slightly better because I had a relationship with their agent. When a Realtor knows that the agent representing the other party is professional and easy to work with, it can go a long way with clients who want a stress-free experience. You may find a house that isn’t listed for your Buyer.It is frustrating for agents and for buyers when the market is so hot and we see properties being listed on MLS and go under contract as soon as they go live. Chances are, they knew about it before it was listed. If you have a Buyer with a particular need, send it out to your Realtor network. There is likely someone who has a client who is looking to sell a property that fits that criteria and it may be possible to get it under contract before anyone else knows about it. The bad stuff is easier to deal with.Not all transactions are easy. Not all clients are reasonable. So, when the bad stuff happens, having a relationship with the other Realtor can make all the difference. If you know and respect each other, solutions can be found even...

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How much is too much?

How much is too much?

  We have information at our fingertips, all day long. TV, print, Internet, social media, everywhere we look there is information. But, how much is too much? I catch grief about this, but, I rarely watch the news. I don’t believe we need to know all the details of a mass murder and innocent lives being destroyed every day. And, it’s not just the news. You can go on a number of medical websites and diagnose yourself with all sorts of horrible illnesses and be convinced you have meer weeks to live. I know that is taking it to an extreme, but we are armed with the information but not necessarily how to use it. When I go to a doctor, for example, I go either with symptoms I need resolved or an objective I would like met. Then, I leave it to the professional to assess my situation and give me the best possible solution, based on their knowledge and experience. Now, it is perfectly except a bowl to ask questions about something I have read, however a lot of public information is in accurate or does not fit my particular issue. How many times were you going to be given millions of dollars from Facebook or free airline tickets from simply typing a post on social media? It is a world of information overload and it is not necessarily making us better. I have found it can be detrimental into Waze. We can either read so much information that we feel we are an expert though we have never had a single day of formal training in a particular field, so we try to do it ourselves. Or, the opposite can be true, we read all the information and are so confused that it paralyzes us, and we do nothing. Read. Educate yourself. But then leave it to the professionals to do their thing. In the end, you’ll save yourself a lot of headache and, possibly, liability....

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Sound the Alarm – 3 Lessons for Security

Sound the Alarm – 3 Lessons for Security

  I know of two different families that have lost part of or their entire home due to fire over the past two weeks. It is devastating. Catastrophic. It made me think of my plan to get my dogs out of the house if the unthinkable happened to me. I’ve got it all worked out and I think I would be prepared. But what if I’m not home? I also see posts far too often on social media of people who have had their house broken into. Property is damaged, precious belongings are gone, never to be recovered, and insurance only covers so much. Even if items aren’t stolen, it is a total violation of privacy and security. You feel completely vulnerable and it can take a very long time to feel comfortable in your own home again. There are a few lessons here: Get an alarm. I just met with my friend who is a sales rep for an alarm company (CSS Alarms – this is my personal system, and in my opinion, the best!). He said in most areas, he has encounters very few people who don’t see the value of a good alarm system. But in other areas, people don’t want to spend the money to be safe. A good alarm system has security features such as glass break, motion detectors and door sensors. It also has monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You may think you live in a safe area but it’s not all about being robbed. It’s about protecting your home, your belongings, and your loved ones. If you have a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detector, if you aren’t home or you are sleeping and don’t hear the alarm go off, it automatically notifies the fire department. This is my saving grace when I think about my dogs being home by themselves. The fire department would get there quickly and could get them out. (Pet tip: use a sticker to notify emergency responders what kind of pets and how many you have.) You can go a step further and get cameras installed. All of this is so hi-tech that you can control it from your phone so it’s convenient and there’s a cool factor to it as well. USE IT! A security system doesn’t do much good if you don’t have it monitored or you don’t turn it on. It’s not hard to push a button before you leave the house. If your system can be armed from your phone or a key fob, even better. My friend told me you’d be surprised how many people have alarm systems but don’t arm them and then they get broken into and kick themselves...

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