Looking for a new Home in Maine Online


Real Estate Agents in Maine are finding new ways to generate business everyday Online. Studies indicate that over 80% of today’s home buyers visit the Internet long before seeking the professional assistance of a Real Estate Professional.

Below are some popular sites  to visit and become familiar with  their features and benefits.

Property Listings & More

1) Redfin.com: In addition to listings, this site offers information such as how long a home has been for sale, its last sales price, and its current value. It also provides virtual tours to listed homes.
2) Trulia.com: Like Zillow.com, which offers satellite views and the estimated values of each home, Trulia’s “heat maps” show how hot or cold an area is based on prices, sales, and popularity among its users. Trulia.com also has free tools real estate agents can easily add to their own websites to increase functionality and traffic.
3) Maps.Google.com and Bing.com/maps: For a bird’s-eye view, even 360 degrees in some cases, these amazing map sites offer a virtual perspective of available homes that’s truly hard to beat.
4) Walkscore.com: Is an interesting site that rates any address based on the walking distance of its nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, coffee shops etc.
5) SchoolMatters.com: A Standard & Poor’s company, this site offers parents (and potential home buyers) an objective rating of public schools and public school districts by region, including test scores and demographics. GreatSchools.net offers similar info and ratings on private schools based on region.

Government Websites: Government loan programs offer great opportunities for many consumers in many regions across the country, especially first-time buyers and veterans. The following websites are likely one of the first of many sites potential home buyers visit during this process:

1) HUD.Gov is the official website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) This site lists HUD homes and provides information for home buyers, including financing options and home buying programs available through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
2) Homeloans.va.gov: This site houses information about government home loan programs specifically for veterans.

Contact me  if you think of any more sites I should add to my list. I look forward to developing ways that we can grow our business together.

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Look What’s New for Maine Real Estate Financing!

Happy Friday the 13th,

It’s still a great time to refinance and the purchase market couldn’t be better for a buyer.

These rates are based on no points, rate and term refinance or a purchase, with qualifying income, loan to value and fico scores. **

FHA 30 Year Fixed 4.50%

FHA 15 Year Fixed 3.875%

30 Year Fixed 4.75%

15 Year Fixed 4.125%

Jumbo 15 year Fixed 4.50%

Jumbo 30 year Fixed 5.125%

What’s New?

Here’s a couple of neat things we can do or do better!

With the current economy and a lot of people struggling, some new products have become available to help these borrowers.

1. FHA loans with FICO scores as low as 540.

2. FHA loans with up to 2 mortgage late payments in last 12 months.

3. Conventional loans 620 minimum fico, 1 mortgage late in last 12 months

4. Conventional loans with only 3% down or 97% LTV, NO monthly mortgage insurance

5. Jumbo Loans In house at great rates (see above)

6. We now have Maine State Housing

7. We now do everything under one roof! Appraisal Ordering, Processing, Title, Underwriting and Closing!

For a FREE evaluation contact me today!

-Seth

The sweet spot may soon be over for homeowners.

For the past few years, homes have been the most affordable on record. Low rates and low prices make a wonderful combination. However, this wonder combination may soon be coming to an end. Why do we say this? For one, new home sales are the lowest they have been since the government started keeping records in 1963. While that sounds like bad news, the inventory of new homes for sale is not going up. This inventory is actually one-third of what it was just five years ago. This commentary just appeared in Fortune: “I’m a dirt-road economist who sees what’s happening on the ground, and in 35 years I’ve never seen a shortage of new construction like the one I’m seeing today,” declares Mike Castleman, CEO of Metrostudy. “The talking heads who are down on real estate will hate to hear this, but America needs to build a lot more houses.” Bottom line, we are not building fast enough to accommodate future demand. Even the ominous shadow inventory which has hung over the market is now shrinking. There were 2.0 million units in various stages of “pre-foreclosure” one year ago and 1.8 million units today, according to CoreLogic. This may not seem a huge drop, however, it is the first move downward in several years.

What makes us think that the demand will arise to continue to shrink the shadow inventory? The population of America is rising. We had shrinkage of household formulation during the recession and this masked the continuing rise in population. Tight credit conditions also turned many potential homeowners into renters, though many are renting houses. However, the news that the economy has now produced 400,000 jobs in the past two months is the continuance of a reversal of this trend. As America goes back to work, household formulation will rise again and there will be significant latent demand uncovered. We understand that two months of data does not guarantee the whole trend reverses itself. We lost about eight million jobs during the recession and the workforce grows by 150,000 monthly. So we have a long way to go, but the trend is moving in the right direction. The key is moving from a vicious to a virtuous cycle. More jobs create demand. Demand creates more jobs. And all this will help loosen credit conditions as a stronger economy will help convince banks to have faith in the average American again. You may be hearing the “bad news” regarding home prices right now–but this is a story that may be changing faster than many analysts have envisioned. Even the Federal Reserve Board is taking notice as a member stated this week that the Fed may be raising rates by the end of this year.

Should I Buy?

Recent national reports about the slow housing market have raised many questions for concerned homeowners: “Is now the time to sell?” “Should I buy that vacation home in Miami?” In order to really discover the answer to nagging real estate market questions, homeowners must collaborate with their mortgage and real estate professional to explore the real estate situation on a local level.

Should I Buy?
Tips for Buyers:
The market is in your favor, interest rates are low, more housing is available in select markets and sellers are offering great buyer incentives. Below are a few tips to help you successfully shop for new real estate.

• Take your time, but not too much time Yes, home prices are lower, but continuing to wait in hopes that the price will decline may backfire on buyers. If you find a property that you can’t live without, make an offer and negotiate. Work with your real estate professional and suggest a price that reflects the local market and sales’ price of the homes nearby.

• Watch out for competition. People are constantly moving due to new job opportunities, marriage, divorces and more, so be prepared to make counter offers.

• Know your loan According to bankrate.com, interest rates are still very low. The average national interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is about 5.01 percent. But, before you sign, be sure you fully understand your loan products. Work with your real estate and mortgage professionals to find the best option that will fit your financial situation.

Should I Sell?

Tips for Sellers:
Be prepared for lots of competition. Below are a few tips that will help you successfully sell your real estate.

• Set a realistic asking price Over the past few years, home sellers have been able to get away with asking extremely high prices for their property in select markets. Now that the market has cooled, sellers may feel that they are getting the short end of the stick. According to Jim Gillespie, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker, sellers “need to realize that a home is where you live. It’s not a lottery ticket,” it is a long term investment.

Work with your real estate professional and investigate the local real estate market and what the sellers within your community are asking for their property. Setting a proper asking price will obtain more offers.

• Fix up your home Making a great first impression is crucial. A few minor improvements and a fresh coat of neutral colored paint to visible exterior and interior parts of your home will help catch buyers’ attention.