If you’re moving to a new city with children, one of your likely considerations is finding a family-friendly community where you can settle in and call home.
In this post we’ll share a handful of tips that you may find helpful if you’re searching for a family-friendly neighborhood in a new city.
Check Out The Quality Of Local Schools
Schools are one of the cornerstones of a community and high-quality schools are a sign that a community is suitable for your family. When you’ve made your short list of communities that you are considering, take some time to research the local elementary or high schools to see how they stack up against other schools in the surrounding area.
You may also want to connect with the school’s principal or dean to ask about the environment and whether or not it would be suitable for your children.
Look Around For Local Churches And Other Community Groups
Great communities are those which are filled with engaged citizens who are actively working to better the area for everyone. When you drive through a community that you’re considering, look around to see if there are churches and other groups that get local residents together on a regular basis.
You may find that these groups make for an excellent welcoming committee who can introduce you to the area and help to get your family settled.
Parks And Other Gathering Spaces Are A Good Sign
Another excellent way to determine if a community is suitable for raising a family is the number of nearby parks and public gathering spaces. You’ll want to ensure that your children have a nice area to run around and play with your family pet, or that you have a nice park in which to have the occasional picnic lunch to spend some quality time together.
When In Doubt: Ask The Locals
If you’re visiting a community or touring through homes, spend some time talking to the locals to hear their thoughts and opinions on how family-friendly the local area is. If you haven’t yet, you should also connect with a local real estate agent who can share the ups and downs of the community you’re thinking about moving to.
Follow these tips and trust your instincts, and you’ll be able to find a great new community that makes a perfect home for your family.
Have you decided to sell your home, perhaps to make an upgrade to a newer, larger house? Whatever your reasons for selling, you’ll have a number of decisions to make as you craft your listing and begin receiving offers from buyers but few are as important as your initial selling price.
Let’s take a look at three reasons why setting your listing price is the most important factor in your home sale.
Reason #1: You Can Scare Off Potential Buyers With A High Price
You’ll receive the majority of your buyer interest in the first few days and weeks after you place your home up for sale, so it’s critical that your price isn’t set so high that it scares a number of buyers off.
While some sellers believe that it’s better to price high and let buyers submit lower offers, this can actually work against you. It’s better to have your home priced fairly from the beginning as you can always refuse offers that you deem are too low.
Reason #2: Your Price Directly Impacts How Long Your Sale Will Take
If you’re interested in seeing your home sell quickly it’s going to be in your best interest to have it priced competitively. Buyers will be shopping around for similar homes in your community and if there are other listings with lower prices on the market you may find it takes you a while to get your home sold.
Also, if you do find a buyer that is interested they’ll likely try to enter into price negotiations with you which can extend the length of the sale by a week or more as you go back and forth to reach an agreement.
Reason #3: A Low Price Means Leaving Money On The Table
While pricing too high can cause issues with your sale, pricing your home too low isn’t going to benefit you either. While you’ll likely find that you receive a high number of offers very quickly, you’ll end up leaving some of your home equity on the table – equity that you could easily have realized as buyers would have been willing to pay the difference.
Remember – the best way to ensure your home is priced competitively is to have it valued by a real estate professional. Contact your local real estate agent when you’re ready to sell your home and they’ll be able to determine the true value of your home.
Are you a homeowner who is thinking about selling their current home and making an upgrade to a newer, larger home?
If you’re facing the prospect of having to manage a home purchase and a home sale at the same time you’ll find that there are numerous priorities that are begging for your attention.
In today’s blog post we’ll share a few tips for how to manage a buying and selling transaction simultaneously without being overwhelmed by them.
Start By Getting Your Finances In Order
Before you start the hunt for a new home you’ll want to ensure that your finances are in order and that you’re fully prepared for the many costs that you’ll face.
If you are currently paying off a mortgage on your home, you’ll either need to be approved for a second mortgage to buy your new home or you’ll need to sell your current home first.
You’ll also need to have your down payment lined up for the new home, as well as some money set aside to cover your closing costs. If you plan on selling first and then buying afterwards you may want to have a “transition fund” set aside to cover any rental or other costs if it takes a month or two before you get into a new home.
Selling First Is Typically Far Easier
It’s worth noting that selling your home first and then buying is far easier than buying first and trying to sell. There is a lot of uncertainty in the selling process, especially if you’re in a slower real estate market. Conversely, once you find that perfect new home you can typically get an offer in and close on it quickly if you’re the only bidder.
Begin The Hunt For Your New Home Immediately
Although you may want to wait before you buy your new home, you’ll want to get your house hunt started as soon as you decide to make your move. The more time you give yourself to find a new home, the better the chance you’ll get one in your target community and with the features you’re after.
Leverage Professional Expertise To Help You Manage It All
Trying to manage both selling your current home and buying a new one at the same time will be a significant challenge – one that can be made far easier by working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the local market. Contact your real estate agent before getting started and they’ll be able to advise you how to best proceed.
Last week’s economic highlights included the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index for October. The Commerce Department also released Housing Starts for September. Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped below four percent. The Fed released its Beige Book report, and Weekly jobless claims came in lower than expected. Here are the details:
Homebuilder Confidence Slips in Spite of Lower Mortgage Rates
U.S. Homebuilder confidence in housing market conditions slipped by 5 points to October’s reading of 54 as compared to September’s reading; this was also lower than the expected reading of 59. Builders are concerned over strict mortgage credit rules, but the NAHB’s chief economist noted that pent-up demand, lower mortgage rates and improved labor markets are expected to drive builder confidence in the near term. Readings of 50 and above indicate that more builders are confident about market conditions than not.
Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates across the board with the rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.97 percent, a drop of 15 basis points from the prior reading. 15-year fixed rate mortgages had an average rate of 3.18 percent from the prior week’s reading of 3.30 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell by 13 basis points to 2.92 percent. Average discount points remained at 0.50 for all mortgage types.
If 30-year fixed rate mortgages can stay below the four percent mark, this could mean additional incentive for fence-sitters to become active home buyers.
Surprise: New Jobless Claims Hit 14-Year Low
Concerns over job markets and employment stability have consistently been of concern to home buyers in the aftermath of the recession. Last week’s jobless claims report brought encouraging news as it came in at 264,000 new jobless claims filed against predictions of 289,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 287,000 new jobless claims filed. This was the lowest number of new jobless claims filed in more than 14 years. Analysts said that lower numbers of weekly jobless claims indicate fewer layoffs, which should help boost prospective home buyers’ confidence in job stability.
Fed: Economy Growing at “Modest to Moderate Pace”
The Federal Reserve released its Beige Book report on Wednesday. This report contains anecdotes from business sources within the 12 Federal Reserve districts. The report said that the economy continues to grow at a modest to moderate pace and noted that potential concerns over the stronger U.S. dollar causing increases in export costs did not concern the Fed’s business sources.
Housing Starts, Consumer Confidence Up
September’s housing starts were above both expectations and August’s reading. 1.02 million starts were reported with the majority being multi-family homes. The expected reading was 1.015 million housing starts; this was based on August’s reading of 956,000 starts. This news is consistent with the drop in builder confidence for sales of new single-family homes.
The University of Michigan/Thompson-Reuters Consumer Sentiment Index for October rose to 86.4 against an expected reading of 83.5 and September’s reading of 84.6. This was the highest consumer sentiment reading in seven years. Analysts rained on the consumer sentiment parade by noting that recent jitters over Wall Street and concerns about Ebola outbreaks could cause the Consumer Sentiment Index to lose ground.
Next week’s scheduled economic reports include the National Association of REALTORS® Existing Home Sales report, FHFA’s Home Price Index and New Home Sales. Leading Economic Indicators will also be released.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported that home builder sentiment lost its momentum in October and posted a seasonally adjusted reading of 54 in its Home Builder Market Index.
This reading was five points lower than expected and also five points lower than September’s reading. October’s reading was the first time in five months that builder confidence has fallen.
To put October’s reading in perspective, things aren’t all that bad. A reading over 50 indicates more builders are confident about housing market conditions than not. Also, October’s lower reading of 54 after the HMI reading reached a nine-year high in September.
Low Mortgage Rates, Pent-up Demand Expected to Drive Housing Markets
David Crowe, Chief Economist for NAHB said that low mortgage rates, improved labor markets and “significant” pent-up demand for homes all point to continued growth for housing markets.
NAHB reported that builders’ views on current market conditions dropped from September’s reading of 63 to 57 in October. The confidence rating for upcoming sales fell from 67 to 64. The gauge of home buyer traffic for new homes fell by six points to a reading of 41.
Analysts said that although stronger jobs markets can help would-be buyers get into the market, concerns over ultra-strict mortgage standards are dampening potential home sales.
Multi-family Housing Starts Outstrips Single Family Home Construction
Starts for all types of housing gained 8.60 percent in the first eight months of 2014, but single family housing construction accounted for only 3.10 percent of housing starts between January and August. September’s housing starts are set for release today (Friday).
New Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Since 2005
In related news, the Labor Department reported that weekly jobless claims were lower than expected and also lower than for the prior week. The reading for new jobless claims was 264,000 new claims; this was 23,000 fewer new claims than the prior week’s reading of 287,000 new jobless claims filed. A reading of 289,000 new jobless claims had been expected. This was the lowest reading for new jobless claims since April 2005.