Thursday, May 28, 2009

Waiting to buy a home? Well, Don't!!!!

Rumors are circulating that due to improvements in the economy, some investors are moving their investments from the safety of the treasury and putting them back into the more risky, but rewarding stocks. What this means to you is that the low low interest rates may begin to climb, putting a greater emphasis on buyers to get off the fence and buy now.

I have heard that the rates may have jumped nearly .5% overnight. That translates to about a $5,000 price increase when considering your monthly mortgage payments. All signs in my local market suggest that housing prices are bottoming out and with the likelihood that rates may increase soon, you need to get serious about buying. Waiting any longer could cause you to miss it completely.

Start your home search here where you can customize and save your searches so that you can receive a new e-mail whenever there is a new or updated listing that matches your search.

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Get a FREE real world home valuation here to see what your home could bring in today's market.

Your Realtor of Choice,

Greg Worley
Keller Williams Realty
www.HomeInColumbia.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

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RED Day was a huge success. Thanks for your support!
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2009 Home Buyer Tax Credit can be used as down payment

Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment
Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, on Tuesday said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow home buyers to use the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment.

Previously, most buyers wouldn't receive the funds until after they filed their tax return, and that deterred some people from using the credit. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has been calling for the change.

“We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the home buyer tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a down payment,” Donovan says. His remarks came in an address to several thousand REALTORS® gathered Tuesday morning at "The Real Estate Summit: Advancing the U.S. Economy," at the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C..

He says FHA’s approved lenders will be permitted to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. This will allow eligible home buyers to access the funds immediately at the closing table.

Other Solutions for Today's Market

During his address at the summit, Donovan went on to say that the Obama administration plans to further stabilize the housing market. “I do think we have some early signs that the market overall is stabilizing,” Donovan says. “Since January we’ve seen both home sales moving up and down around a relatively stable number and we are seeing the first signs that the rapid decline in home prices is starting to abate.”

The morning session included a panel discussion that was moderated by CNBC’s Ron Insana. Panelists examined cutting-edge solutions necessary to promote and preserve homeownership and real estate development, stimulate the economy, and protect the nation’s taxpayers. They also shared their ideas on what the role and responsibility of the federal government is in the revitalization effort.

“Right now the Federal Reserve is the market,” said panelist Jay Brinkman, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “What will be the effect when the Fed stops buying?” Brinkman explained that an exit strategy must be planned for the long-term; the federal government cannot continue to support the mortgage markets indefinitely.

“We are thrilled that so many high-caliber individuals were able to join us today at this important meeting to promote stability in the housing market and the U.S. economy,” said NAR President Charles McMillan. “We look forward to an ongoing dialogue and action toward this goal, during our midyear meetings this week and beyond.”

The real estate summit is part of the 2009 REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. During the week ending May 16, more than 8,500 REALTORS® will attend meetings, visit lawmakers and inspire action on Capitol Hill.

Source: NAR

This is great news for first time home buyers. If you would like more information about the market conditions in the Columbia, Sc area, please contact me through www.HomeInColumbia.com

This Month In Real Estate (US): May 2009

Home sales still down from a year ago, but have gone up from last month. The tide is turning. If you would like more information about the market conditions here in Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, Chapin, SC please contact me. I look forward to helping you realize your real estate goals.

Greg Worley
Broker-Agent
Keller Williams Realty
www.HomeInColumbia.com

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Month In Real Estate: 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Special Edition

Do you have questions about the 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit? This short video will tackle some of your questions including who qualifies, income restrictions and when it will expire.
If you have other questions or are ready to start searching for your first home, please contact me. I have also made it easy for you to contact me through my website via text or video chat. Just visit www.HomeInColumbia.com.

I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Greg

Monday, April 20, 2009

Keller Williams Red Day - May 14, 2009

Keller Williams Realty offices across the US and Canada will be reaching out to their communities on May 14, 2009 for R.E.D. Day.

The Columbia, SC market center will be conducting a food drive with the help of local grocery store chains. Please come out and support your community and donate.

For more information on the Columbia, SC area R.E.D. Day check out www.YourBigWhy.net.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Month In Real Estate (US): April US

Things are starting to look up as home sales are on the rise and optimism is growing about the real estate market.

Just remember that each local market is going to be different than the next, so check with a REALTOR, your local real estate expert, to find out more about buying and selling a home in your market.

In the Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, SC area, call me or visit my website, www.HomeInColumbia.com, to learn more.

Thanks,
Greg

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Fresh and New Perspective

In a time where things look grim to many I now have a fresh new perspective as I welcomed my 3rd daughter into the world earlier this week.

Piper Louise was born on April 7th at 3:37pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs 4.7 oz. and measured 19 3/4 inches long. Most importantly, she reminded me of why I get up each morning. When lack of activity in the real estate market beats down on my moral, I am reminded that my motivation is deeper than any market stats the news media can flash on the TV. I know that there are 3 little girls at home that look up to me and depend on me to provide for them. They think that there daddy is the best "house seller" there is and who am I to disagree with them.

As the Spring brings in new blossoms, I have a new focus and feel rejuvenated with offers coming in and new prospects on the horizon. But most of all I have a new addition to my big why.

Hopefully I am not the only REALTOR seeing an increase in activity lately. I also know that regardless of what type of business you're in, if you don't have a "big why" to keep you focused and motivated that you need to find one. Just don't let it be about the money.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

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Piper Louise born at 3:37 pm.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

This Month in Real Estate (US): March 2009

Changes in the First Time Home buyer Tax Credit. This really benefits buyers.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This Month In Real Estate (US): February 2009

A rise in home sales! The greatest increases have come from the states that have been hit the hardest. It only makes sense that these states will lead the home market turn around. Check out the video.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 Reasons to buy a home right now.

I recently read an article, 5 Reasons buying a home in 2009 is a bad idea, whose author gave 5 reasons not to buy a home right now. It is this type of negative publicity that is making these difficult timeseven tougher on the economy. The same article projects the market to continue to slump for another 18-24 months. If everyone shared the author's negative view, I could see why it would take so long for the economy to recover. Those thoughts sound to me as if the author has her finger on the panic button. The real problem is that the public perception and consumer confidence has been severely diminished by the negative media that is being dished out.

Let's look at this from a different angle. What if I told you that the economy was in the toilet and instead of suggesting that we try to stimulate or revive it, I reccomend that we all hunker down and wait it out. Everyone should just stop spending money as much as possible or at least until merchants and service providers start giving everything away. We should all go back to the days when people raised livestock, grew their own vegetables and made their own clothes. How many jobs would that save? How many marriages?...How many lives? Well, I don't think it would do much to help the economy either.

With that said, allow me to offer my real world perspective and give you 5 reasons you should buy a home, right now.

  1. Mortgage rates are near record lows. - Waiting to see if home prices will drop any further may increase the risk of mortgage rates creeping up higher. A rate increase of 1% can be the same as adding $10,000 to the purchase price of a new home. Considering median prices in most areas vary from $150,000 to $200,000, you would need to expect another 5-7.5% reduction or more in home prices to benefit should the rates go up a full percent between now and the time you decide to buy.
  2. How low will they go? - Some markets are already much lower than they were a couple of years ago. Keep in mind that these are the same markets that saw huge increases before the housing bubble burst. In fact, home prices are back in line with where they should be if you take in to account a steady growth rate of appreciation. The housing bubble caused a spike in the normal growth rate and eventually led to the severe downturn we are experiencing now. But is it really a downturn or a righting of the ship, putting us back on the course we should have been on all along. Take a look at this graph and decide for yourself.Real Estate market Growth Chart.
  3. Housing growth and market conditions

  4. Timing is Everything - The person who wrote the article suggests the best strategy is to wait until the market has bottomed out before making your move. Good advice except for the fact that, unless you're a pyschic, no one knows when the market has hit bottom until it starts rising up again. By then it's too late and you've missed it. The chart below illustrates market trends. The "safe zone" represents a favorable time to buy. The "lucky zone" is ideal, but if you notice the point that you realize these zones are after the market has shifted. I believe a few market places may be within or close to a "lucky zone." right now.
  5. Market Trends and Timing the market

  6. Choices, choices, choices - Given the decline in homes being bought and a steady increase of homes on the market, the choices available are mind-blowing. In a sellers market, there is usually not much to choose from, therefore they can ask for more money. In today's buyer's market you can have your pick. You will find plenty of homes in top condition with lots of extras in desirable locations and at very reasonable prices. What more could you ask for?
  7. Help your fellow citizen - The government knows that the best way to stimulate the economy is to get people to spend money. This will create a domino effect that will allow retailers, manufacturers and others to create jobs, thus put more money into the economy. It's a cycle. The same with housing. There are many homeowners out there that are struggling financially and need to sell their current homes in order to free up their own cash flow, reduce debt or relocate to a new job. By buying one of these homes you would be, in part, stimulating the economy. How cool is that to take part in the American dream and help out at the same time?

Although it may sound like I am attacking the article that gave reasons not to buy, in all fairness, the same author wrote a similar article: 5 reasons buying a home now is a wise move.

It's a buyer's market. Why aren't you buying? What are you waiting for?

Regardless of your season of life, there are good honest REALTORS that would love to help you realize your dreams of owning a home. I am one of those REALTORS and I put the "real" back in real estate. I service many parts of South Carolina, however if you are not in my area please keep in mind that part of my job is putting people all across the United States and Canada in touch with a real estate agent that will provide honest, dependable service. Whether you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling a home. Call me first.


Greg Worley
Broker, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
Columbia, SC
www.HomeInColumbia.com



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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A look back at Groundhogs Day and a Call to Action

Puxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators, saw his shadow, thus predicting an extended Winter. Given his stature and fame, I wonder if good ol' Phil would mind giving us his forecast on the country's current economic condition.

Punxsutawney Phil

While we may not yet be able to change the weather, we can unite and strongly influence the economy.

The news relayed by the national media outlets paint a grim and gloomy portrait. This information may speak truths about some markets, however it is not a fair representation of the status of all individual and local markets. As a result of the national media, consumer confidence is at an all-time low. We as a nation can take action to jump start an economic recovery one house at a time.

If you are a homeowner who is still deciding whether or not to sell, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Let's say you want to upsize your home. Now is a great time to do so. Be open to the idea that you may take a loss on the sale of your current home, but by the same account (or discount) you will be receiving a better price on the nice new larger home. When you do the math you will find that your savings on the new home will be greater than the loss on your old one, which means an overall net savings for you.
  2. If down-sizing is what you had in mind, whether to save money or because of financial difficulties, there may be a solution for you, as well. Banks are more willing, now more than ever, to work with you and help you absorb the financial loss and avoid foreclosure.
  3. If you don't have to sell, move or you're not struggling to make your payments then don't sell. It's a buyer's market. You can afford to wait until it's a balanced or seller's market again. You may want to consider refinancing to take advantage of the low rates.

On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a home, now is the perfect time. It's called a buyer's market for a reason. I'll give you three.

  1. Low Rates!!!
  2. Low Prices!!!
  3. Lots of Choices!!!

It's simple. Mortgage rates are at an historical low. Did you know that in terms of your payments a 1% reduction in rate is the equivalent of a $10,000 reduction in the home purchase price? Let me put it another way. The lower rates mean that you can buy more house for the money. With lower prices, it means you get double the bang for your buck. Not to mention you have your pick of homes with high inventory levels.

If you are a buyer waiting for the market to hit rock bottom, I suggest you get off the fence and buy now. There are only a lucky few who can claim to have bought when the market bottomed out and even they didn't realize it until after the fact. The truth is, as you patiently wait for the market to hit bottom you will not know it has until prices begin to go back up. At that point it's too late. You missed it. Bummer. Buying now will insure you of getting a good price, rate and selection. In turn, you will be helping out sellers who may be struggling to make ends meet, avoid foreclosure or take a new job through a relocation. This my friends will help families free up what was once disposable income that can be spent on other goods and services, which will lend to the local economy and begin to spread until the economy is once again headed in the right direction. It's a domino effect and buyer's hold the key.

Still not convinced that now is the time to buy. Well I don't know about all the markets out there. However, I do keep track of what is happening in my local market. (Columbia, SC) From 2007 to 2008 the number of home sales dropped 20.6% in our area. Home prices, during the same time only slid 1.7%. Meanwhile in another market area in SC home sales dropped 19.6% while home prices actually increased 2.4%. There are many reporst coming in from December and ealry January that activity is increasing. For some areas around the country the market may have already bottomed out.

So what are you waiting for?

This is my real world perspective. I'm putting the "Real" back in real estate.

Greg Worley
Broker, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
www.HomeInColumbia.com

Monday, February 2, 2009

This Month In Real Estate (US): January 2009

This is a very informative video on the current real estate market conditions as a whole. If you would like to know more or have questions, contact me.

Your local economist of choice,

Greg Worley
Broker, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
www.HomeInColumbia.com

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Power of an Hour

Gone are the days when you can sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Depending on what the market was like when you got into the real estate business, you may know what it's like to get out and look for business. Some, my self included, got into selling houses when the market was good and everyone you knew wanted to buy or sell.

Now I wake up each morning to find myself looking for opportunities to find another buyer or seller lead. I have found, for the moment, that the most effective and fastest way to add to my database is what we call "Power Hour." Power hour is a time that we (agents within my office) gather for a short pep talk then split off and pick up those phones. Granted those phones weigh about 10,000 pounds at first, but it doesn't take long to get into a rhythm. During the hour you are a lean mean lead generating machine. You're calling expireds, FSBO's, withdrawns and of course people in your sphere to get leads and appointments.

When I first started participating in power hour, it wasn't pretty. It has taken me months to build my list of numbers to call, but I never gave up and am starting to see the results of my efforts as I am beginning to convert calls into appointments and appointments into listings. A lot of agents will make the first call. About half of those will follow up a second time. The numbers keep dwindling until the one left standing reaps the rewards. I have realized that lead generation is the difference between my business being a success or a bust.

Simply put, if you're not generating leads and converting them to appointments, you're going to struggle to survive in the current market conditions. On the other hand, if you are out there digging for your piece of the pie, you'll find that not only will you survive, but WHEN the market shifts back the other direction, you will dramatically increase your share.

Make it a habit. It doesn't matter if you do it well, just do it...and do it...and do it. Do it enough and you will begin to see results.



Happy Hunting!

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