home buying: All buyers have different needs for different reasons - 04/24/16 12:05 PM
I was speaking to several bright new agents who are trying to get started on the right foot. I commented that every buyer has different needs. In order to fill those needs, we, as their agents, have to determine the best choices within their budget. Many times , the buyers themselves don't understand what they really need and can afford. Because of this, we must ask the right questions of them prior to getting in the car. There is nothing more frustrating for a potential buyer than going through homes that don't seem right. It is up to us, as agents, … (0 comments)

home buying: Interest rates have fallen! - 03/19/16 11:32 AM
Anybody who has even considered buying a new home needs to act now!. With 30 year fixed rates hovering in the mid 3's and 15 year rates even lower, this is prime buying opportunity. At the risk of sounding like a used car salesman, these rates will not last and we will not see these low rates again in the foreseeable future.
  In an earlier blog, I stated that the average buyer does not ask the right questions of their potential lender. They ask about the rates and everybody's rates will be about the same. The difference is the closing fees … (3 comments)

home buying: Home values - 01/19/16 09:45 AM
How much is my home worth? The Jones', down the street sold their's for 450k, so mine should go for about that. How does your home relate to the Jones' home? Is it the same size? Does it have a 3 car garage like theirs? Was it built about the same time? Does it have the same updates and amenities? Is it in the same condition?
  I have a re-fi appraisal from 4 years ago that is more than you are telling me. A re-fi appraisal from 4 years ago is not an indication of today's value.
  For the most part, … (0 comments)

home buying: It's getting cold again! - 01/17/16 08:29 AM
Winter is here again with all of it's ravages, even here, in the south. We must remind our clients to leave faucets dripping at night, when it is the coldest. I talked on this subject last year, but we are back again. Those who have the old copper systems: copper breaks, when frozen and thawed out, hence you have a flooded house. For those fortunate enough to have a pex system, it will not break like copper, but it will still freeze and have no water pressure in some lines until it thawes. Regardless , let your faucets drip overnight. Your … (1 comments)

home buying: Home Buyer & Seller Information - 12/20/15 08:34 AM
The Internet and its vast access to information is a great help to everyone , including those of us who practice Real Estate. There are, however, some pitfalls for potential buyers out there.
   As is my policy,I will not mention any website or brand by name in a derogatory sense in a blog, but, I must reveal some frustrating situations that have come up. These websites are probably some of the more widely used by consumers.
   I had a very nice lady called me about one of my listings that she saw on one of these sites. She said that she … (4 comments)

home buying: A Home is an Emotional Purchase - 11/09/15 09:20 AM
The word that evokes the deepest emotions with most people is the word "Mother", according to several studies. The second most emotional word in the English language is "Home". So, "Home" stirs emotion in people everywhere .
   Our job , as Realtors, is to satisfy this emotion, but, also, to bring the business part of it into focus. After all, the last thing any Realtor wants is for a buyer, later turns into a seller, and we have to tell them that they are going to loose a ton of money at closing.
   In the end, it is the buyer's choice … (6 comments)

home buying: Food for thought - 09/05/15 12:36 PM
I have a plaque on my office wall with a quote from Zig Ziglar that I coined many years ago: " You can get anything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want".  That pretty much sums it up.
  Nobody said it was going to be easy. Many people don't understand what amenities are available within their budget. It is our duty to show them and educate them about the market. I don't "sell" properties. I show people possibilities and point them in their best direction. It's a fun business, but we have to be listening … (5 comments)

home buying: The rules are changing - 08/10/15 12:20 PM
We are fast approaching Oct. 2015, which means that the closing process, as we know it, will dramatically change. Never fear, guys! We made it through the Jan. 1, 2010 changes and we will make it through this one. Once again, what is good in theory may be a cluster in practice. What does it mean? There will no longer be a Hud-1 settlement statement. It will be called a closing disclosure. No big deal. It will be the Hud-1 and the truth in lending rolled into one document. So far, that's ok. Now, the buyer will have 3 days to … (8 comments)

home buying: Making an offer on a home - 08/01/15 10:29 AM
I have touched on this subject before, but, feel that it needs to be addressed more fully. First, everyone gets advice from Uncle Bill and all of these countless online advisors, but the truth is, the only person who can advise you on your offer is your Realtor.
   " I read somewhere that you should always offer 5% less than list". Ok, Mr. Buyer, what if the property is listed 10% over market? Then you have paid too much! At the same time, if you are in a hot area, it could be that you'll have to pay over list to … (5 comments)

home buying: Mortgage loans - 07/27/15 11:20 AM
It has come to my attention, after talking with many potential buyers, that the general public doesn't know how to shop for a mortgage loan. Most people will ask "what interest rate are you offering" and that is their only question.
 I don't know about you,but I am constantly getting junk mail offering ridiculously low rates. Now the fine print says that you must pay huge origination fees and several thousand in points, but you get a lower rate. If you calculate, you'll find that you would have to live in your home and keep this mortgage 10-15 years to recoup the … (0 comments)

home buying: Something to think about - 07/13/15 09:40 AM
I have a plaque on my office wall. It is a quote from the late great Zig Ziglar. It says "You can get anything in the world you want if you help enough other people get what they want". This is how I try to lead my life. If you think about it, truer words were never spoken. This says it all for any Real Estate professional. Our job is to help our clients get what they want. Sometimes, this is easier than others, but, this is our job.
   When I list a great home at a great price in a … (8 comments)

home buying: What should I be doing right now? - 06/28/15 12:18 PM
several years ago, a Realtor friend called me to tell me that she had listed a home for some former clients of mine. They called her because, even though they thought the world of me,they thought that I was too busy to handle their needs. This was a wake up call for me. Nothing will kill a thriving Real a Estate practice as quickly as people having the perception that we are too busy to handle their needs.
    A wise man, Zig Ziglar ,once said that "we all are allowed the same 24 hours in a day. No more no … (2 comments)

home buying: Offers - 06/13/15 12:49 PM
" I read somewhere that I should always offer 5% under list".
Boy, how many times have I heard this? Either "Uncle John" told them this, because "Uncle John" has bought 10 houses before. Ok. What if the home is listed 8% over market value? Then you paid too much! What if it is in a hot market and it is listed at or below market value? Then you won't buy the home. My question for buyers is " Put yourself in the shoes of the seller. If he has a good home, it very saleable and there are many buyers interested, … (4 comments)

home buying: Home Buyer/ Seller Myths #11 - 05/29/15 09:34 AM
Home buyer/seller myth #11. "I don't have anything to worry about, I already qualified for a mortgage ".
Read the papers, folks. It says that you qualify assuming several things. One of them is, no changes in finances.
Don't ever make any major purchases while you are under contract, before it closes.
The most extreme example of this was several years ago, Kirkland Development was building a home for this young couple. They qualified for the purchase, but just barely. I instr...ucted them not to make any major purchases until it closed. The first red flag came up when he told … (0 comments)

 
Steve Houck (Real Estate Partners, LLC)

Steve Houck

Madison, MS

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