Visit MultnomahForeclosures.com for the notice of default lists (Homes in Foreclosure) for Multnomah County and other Oregon counties.
Stewart Group Realty Inc.
It’s getting close to that time of year again — time to have a garage sale at your home!
Here are a few tips to help you have your most successful garage sale ever.
Advertise Your Sale In Local Newspapers And Online
Many of the habitual Saturday morning garage sale patrons use the paper to plan their treasure hunts.
They do this to make sure they hit all of the sales in certain neighborhoods.
In the ad, mention your home address, date and time of your garage sale and any big or popular items you’ll be selling.
Open Your Sale Early
It’s best to open early, such as around seven in the morning a sales tend to taper off in the afternoon.
Don’t disappoint early shoppers who are typically your best buyers.
They have a busy schedule and a lot of stops to hit.
Open on time or even a few minutes before the time you advertised.
Make Plenty Of Signs To Guide Customers In
If your yard is difficult to see or is not on a main road, be sure to post signs pointing the way.
If allowed, attach a few balloons to it which will catch the attention of passing motorists.
Have Everything Labeled With Reasonable Prices
You’ll get some customers who try to haggle, but for most customers, not knowing the prices is a quick way to have them moving on to another sale.
Keep in mind that these shoppers are looking for a bargain and price accordingly.
You can individually label each item, or use an easily readable color-coded chart.
For instance, a blue sticker means 25 cents, red stickers mean 50 cents and yellow stickers mean $1.
Offer Specials At Different Points During The Garage Sale
You can offer a 2-for-1 sale or a twenty percent off special.
At the end of the day, you may want to have an unadvertised special such as fill a bag for $1 to get rid of as much as possible.
It’s always a good idea to have a “free box” for items that are already low-priced and don’t move during the first half of the sale.
Make your life easier and do something for others by donating any items that don’t sell.
If you plan carefully, you can schedule a pick up by your local charitable organization at the end of your garage sale.
Garage sales are a great way to get the clutter and unused collection of items out of your house while recycling them at the same time.
Using these tips, you’re well on your way to having your best garage sale ever.
Buying real estate for the first time is a very exciting step in life.
It is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments that you make, so it’s very important to navigate the purchasing process wisely.
Many first-time home buyers make rookie mistakes that bring on negative consequences and a lot of frustration.
Outlined below are common errors home buyers make, so you can learn from their missteps and avoid them yourself.
1. Buying More Than What You Can Truly Afford
Just because the bank says that you qualify a certain amount for a mortgage doesn’t mean that you have to choose a house at the very top of this price range.
Many people get carried away and buy the most expensive house that they qualify for.
If something unexpected happens, they may find it difficult to keep up with their monthly mortgage payments later on.
Remember that you will also have student loan payments, vehicle costs, credit card bills, health insurance, groceries, retirement savings and other expenses, so make sure that your mortgage payments will comfortably fit within your budget.
2. Failing To Get A Home Inspection
Before buying a house, you should always have a professional inspection done. Not doing so is a big mistake.
You don’t want to get stuck with hidden damage that could saddle you with the expense of ongoing repairs.
Hiring a professional to assess the home’s condition is absolutely essential before making your final decision.
3. Disregarding Your Future
When you are buying real estate, don’t just think about how the home will work for you in the immediate future.
Also consider what your needs will be five, ten or even 20 years from now.
Find out the development plans for the neighborhood.
Look for reputable schools if you intend to start a family.
And consider whether the street’s home values are likely to increase or decline in the future.
Your Next Steps
Don’t let the home-buying process overwhelm you!
Learn from these common first-time home buyers’ mistakes, so you can avoid them.
A great next step toward planning for your first home purchase is to consult with a trusted, licensed mortgage professional who is trained in providing the best advice on how a new home will affect your budget.
Staging is the art of preparing your home for sale before showing it to prospective buyers.
The point of staging is to highlight the house’s strengths, downplay its weaknesses and make it more appealing.
With the right decorating techniques, you can win buyers over the moment they step through the door.
Below are a few staging tips to help make your house irresistible to potential buyers.
Put Everything Away
The first step is to put away anything that is not essential. This will open up the house so that it appears more spacious.
Even if you have to rent a storage unit, finding a new home for all of your family’s projects and collections should clear some space and help buyers imagine their own belongings in your home for sale.
Pay special attention to entryways and narrow hallways to improve your prospective buyer’s sense of spaciousness.
Get Rid Of Clutter
Be sure to clear off the things that gather on kitchen counters and surfaces, such as old magazines and stacks of mail.
Also, emptying out your closets of half of the things inside them will make them look much roomier.
Use this time as an opportunity to thin the number of largely unused items that your family has collected over the years.
And look on the bright side; moving into a new house will be much easier after you have donated your unneeded items to a charity.
Fresh Scents Make Sense
You would be surprised by how much the sense of smell comes into play when buyers are viewing a house.
To avoid turning buyers off with pet or smoke odors, make sure you give each room a deep clean, including the air vents and carpeting.
Just covering up stale odors with air fresheners won’t do the job.
Let In The Light
Buyers are looking for spacious rooms with a lot of natural light, so make sure you open the blinds and turn on all the lights.
If you have rooms that are a bit dark, you can add floor lamps to make them brighter or flowers to suggest sunlight.
Home staging can make a big difference in how potential buyers see your home for sale, so make sure you set the mood to make it as attractive as possible.
Although the financial markets have tightened lending guidelines and financing requirements over the last few years, the right advice when applying for your loan can make a big difference.
Not all loans are approved. And even when they aren’t approved immediately, it doesn’t have to be the end of your real estate dreams.
There are many reasons why a mortgage loan for the purchase of your real estate could be declined.
Here are a few things to understand and prepare for when applying for a mortgage:
The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of the appraised value of the real estate that you are trying to finance.
For example, if you are trying to finance a home that costs $100,000, and want to borrow $75,000, your LTV is 75%.
Lenders generally don’t like a high LTV ratio. The higher the ratio, the harder it normally is to qualify for a mortgage.
You can positively affect the LTV by saving for a larger down payment.
Your credit score can be affected negatively, which in turn affects your mortgage loan if you have a high credit-to-debt ratio.
The ratio is figured by dividing the amount of credit available to you on a credit card or auto loan, and dividing it by how much you are currently owe.
High debt loads make a borrower less attractive to many lenders.
Try to keep your debt to under 50% of what is available to you. Lenders will appreciate it, and you will be more likely to get approved for a mortgage.
No Credit or Bad Credit
Few things can derail your mortgage loan approval like negative credit issues.
Having no credit record can sometimes present as much difficulty with your loan approval as having negative credit.
With no record of timely loan payments in your credit history, a lender is unable to determine your likelihood to repay the new mortgage.
Some lenders and loan programs may consider other records of payment, like utility bills and rent reports from your landlord.
Talk to your loan officer to determine which of these issues might apply to you, and take the steps to correct them.
Then, you can finance the home of your dreams.
Moving everything in your house to your new |Oregon| home can be an overwhelming task.
You never realize how much stuff you actually own until you try to fit it all into boxes and move it somewhere new.
When you are packing up your things to relocate, here are some helpful tips to make your moving experience much easier:
Start Packing In Advance
You don’t have to wait until the day before you move to start packing everything in your house!
As soon as you find out that you are moving, you can start packing the items you don’t often use, such as your seasonal decorations, photo albums and family keepsakes.
If you pack a few items per week, you’ll have almost everything packed by the time you are ready to go except for the essentials you use every day.
Establish A System
Rather than randomly throwing every item you see into a box, think ahead and create a logical plan for your packing.
Before you start, develop a simple record-keeping system.
Give every box you pack a number and write a corresponding list detailing the items in that box.
This way, when you arrive you will know exactly where to find each item.
You will want to keep all of the items from each area of the house together so they can be unpacked easily.
For example, keep all of the boxes of kitchen supplies together and then put them straight into the kitchen when you arrive at your new home.
You could even designate a color for each room in the house and put colored stickers on the boxes so that the movers or anyone helping you can easily determine in which room a box belongs.
Bonus Tip: Sometimes Less Is More
One final consideration that can make your move easier is to use your move as an opportunity to pare down your unused belongings.
Plus, you won’t be left wondering why you decided to move things from one home to another once you start unpacking.
As with many things, the more organized you are when packing, the less stressful it will be when you arrive and at your new house.
With inventories down and prices up, sellers are ending the costly incentives they have been forced to offer buyers during the six-year long buyers’ market. Concession-free transactions make deal-making simple on both sides of the table.
There’s no better gauge of the onset of a seller’s market than the demise of concessions that were considered essential to attract buyer interest just a few months ago. The National Association of REALTORS®’ December REALTOR® Confidence Outlook reported that the market has steadily moved towards a seller’s market with buyers more willing to bear closing costs, in some cases paying for half or more of the closing cost. Tight inventories of homes for sale are making markets increasingly competitive.
NAR reports that last year 60 percent of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. The most popular was a free home warranty policy, which costs about $500, offered by 22 percent of sellers, but 17 percent upped the ante by paying a portion of buyers’ closing costs and 7 percent contributed to remodeling or repairs.
Concessions linger where inventories are still adequate and sales slow, but in tight markets like Washington D.C., the times when buyers can expect concessions are already over.
“Buyers are discovering, to their dismay that homes they wanted to see or possibly buy have already been snatched up before they even get a chance to see or make an offer on the property. This area’s unprecedented low inventory levels are slowly driving up home prices and making sellers reluctant to cede little if any concessions to buyers. Realtors are warning (or should in some cases) buyers to be prepared to act that day if they are interested in a property,” reporters a local broker.
In Albuquerque, supply is dwindling and sales are moving to a more balanced market. “Buyers can expect sellers to offer less concessions and sales prices will be close to list price,” reports broker Archie Saiz.
In Seattle, not only are concessions a thing of the past, desperate buyers are even resorting to writing “love letters” to win over sellers in competitive situations. Lena Maul, a broker/owner in Lynnwood, reports a successful letter-writing effort last month by one of her office’s clients. Those buyers, who were using FHA financing, wrote a letter introducing themselves to the seller and explaining why they liked the home so much. After reviewing 13 offers, including one from an all-cash investor, the seller chose the letter-writer’s offer.
New regulations enacted last year by the Federal Housing Administration to limit its exposure to risk forced many sellers to cut back on the amount of assistance on buyers’ closing costs. Sellers are now limited to no more than six percent of the loan amount.
Underwriting standards on conventional mortgages also have the effect of limiting the amount sellers can contribute.
In recent years many lenders have disallowed seller paid closing costs on 100 percent financed home loans because of the high foreclosure rate.
However, seller paid closing costs are typically limited to 6 percent of the loan amount at 90 percent loan-to-value or lower, 3 percent between 90-95 percent, and then usually 3 percent for 100 percent loan-to-value.
Some sellers bump up the home sales price to pay for concessions. However the buyer will need to get the higher amount he will need to borrow covered by the appraisal and he will have to meet increased debt-to-income ratio in order to close his loan.
The demise of concessions will make buying and selling a little simpler and more rational. As one observed asked, “Why would anyone selling a home pay the home buyer to buy it?”
For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com