Category Archives: Buying Real Estate

Want an Edge on Rising Mortgage Rates? Buy NOW!

Mortgage rates are still at historic lows, but they’re quickly on the rise once again. They are expected to reach numbers that are higher than they’ve been in a few years, and are climbing fast. Rates have gone up to 4.28% in recent weeks, and appear to continue to progress upwards.

This sort of information can be scary if you’re considering buying a home in the future. How should you translate numbers like that for your family’s needs? What does this mean for your dreams of purchasing a new home?

The best way for you to jump ahead of the mortgage rate increases is to buy NOW!

A Steady Increase

Rates will continue to rise, according to the Federal Reserve. There’s no sign that they’ll be dropping again for a while. These rising rates mean that waiting will cause your interest rates to rise substantially versus what you could find right now. By pulling the trigger now, you can avoid a much higher rate in the future. You’ll lock in a rate that will be substantially lower than your friends who will wait a year or more to purchase.

While the temptation to “wait it out” is strong,  there’s no indication that waiting will mean rates will be any lower. In fact, the trends indicate that the rates will only continue to climb higher than they’ve been in several years. By purchasing now, you can lock in a rate that will cost you less and give you an edge over the higher rates on the horizon.

Beat the Competition

The Spring housing market is just around the corner. Spring is historically the busiest time for buyers. By speeding up your purchase timeline, you can avoid the competition and secure your new home before the market goes berserk. You can save yourself from potential bidding wars and lock in a lower interest rate before they climb further.

Shopping for a home now makes sense for several reasons. You’ll be able to find the home your family has dreamed of without the competition brought by other buyers. You can purchase now free from the added stress of the spring season in real estate, all while locking in a rate you’ll be glad you secured a few months from now.

How to Make Your Move

It’s clear that now is the best time to go ahead with the purchase of your next home. But where do you start? Give us a call here at The Silva Group. We’d love to guide you along this journey. We can help you find the home of your dreams in record time so that you can reap the benefits of this exciting time in the market and get ahead of these rate increases. Give us a call today!

One of the Best Moves You Can Make Before Buying Your Next Home

The time has come for you to find your next home. There are plenty of points on a to-do list that you’ll check off. You’ll find the right agent, choose your perfect neighborhood, and make a list of the features you want in a home. All of these are great steps!

While the best move you can make toward your next home purchase may not sound extremely exciting, but it’s arguably one of the most important.

Get preapproved for your home loan.

Today’s market is becoming more and more competitive. Buyers are learning they need to stand out. Often, multiple buyers will vie for the same home. Mortgage preapproval gives you, as a buyer, an edge.

Preapproval shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. It can make your offer stand out from other, less serious, potential buyers. It shows that you have done the work and secured the money to move forward with a purchase.

Not only will preapproval give you an edge as a buyer, it can also give you a more realistic idea of your home budget. Knowing exactly how much money you’ll be able to spend on a home will manage any expectations you have going into the home buying process. It can eliminate wasted time viewing homes that are outside of your actual budget.

In order to start the process of preapproval, you’ll need to decide upon a lender. By working with experienced agents like us here in The Silva Group, you can get matched with a tried and trusted lender. Seeking out a lender is a scary prospect for most people, and working with your agent’s trusted lender can give you some peace of mind.

A lender will determine just how much money you’re preapproved for by looking at the 4 C’s: capacity (if you’ll be able to make payments), capital (what you have that can translate into cash), collateral (the type of home you’re looking to buy), and credit (your credit score). These factors are the equation a lender will use to determine what type of mortgage you can qualify for.

Once you’ve got your preapproval in hand, you can set forth on the more exciting parts of the home buying process. You will have confidence that many other buyers won’t have. You’ll be able to walk into homes knowing exactly what you can and cannot spend. It will speed up the process and make you more attractive to sellers.

Preapproval may not sound exciting at first, but it is arguably the best move you can make to start the exciting process of your next home purchase.

This Month in Real Estate – December 2017

This Month in Real Estate
December 2017 Market Update
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Monthly VideoAccording to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing home sales picked up in October, overcoming ongoing inventory shortages. Healthy job growth and wage increases are fueling continued strong demand in much of the country.
Interest Rates
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Monthly VideoAccording to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed rates rose from 3.88 percent to 3.90 percent. This rate remains well below the historical average of 8.90 percent.
Home Sales
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Home Sales Graph
The National Association of REALTORS® reported home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of approximately 5.5 million homes during the month of October. This was an increase of 2.0 percent from September and a decrease of 0.9 percent from October of last year.
Home Prices
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Home Price Graph
The median home price decreased to $247,000 in October, which was down 0.2 percent from September and up 5.5 percent from October of last year. The median home price has increased by approximately $12,900 in the past year alone.
Inventory
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Inventory Graph
There was a 3.9-month supply of housing inventory in October, which was a 7.1 percent decrease from September. The total number of available homes for sale has decreased by 11.4 percent compared to October of last year.

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Real Estate Trends

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Home prices have risen nationally three times faster than incomes since the turn of the century, which has made home ownership an impossibility for more Americans than ever before.

In many large cities, home prices have outpaced income. In Miami, for example, incomes have risen 16 percent, while home prices have increased 58 percent since early 1998. New York’s Long Island suburbs have seen just a 14 percent rise in incomes as compared to an 81 percent increase in home prices. Boston home prices have gone up 89 percent, while incomes have increased only 22 percent.

Even with a downturn in the real estate market looming on the horizon, home sales are still headed for another record year.

The first sector to show slowing is the high-end home market. Because of “overpersonalized” big-ticket properties, the pace of house auctions nationwide has surged.

Low interest rates are the only continuing positive trend of the housing market. Low rates average now less than 6 percent for 30-year fixed-rate loans, the lowest since the 1960s.

Real-estate analysts believe that if the housing market stalls, some areas will continue to grow modestly while other markets gradually go soft, rather than pop.

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Brought to you by KW Research. The opinions expressed in This Month in Real Estate are intended to supplement opinions on real estate expressed by local and national media, local real estate agents and other expert sources. You should not treat any opinion expressed on This Month in Real Estate as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., does not guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of information, and provides said information without warranties of any kind. All information presented herein is intended and should be used for educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. All investments involve some degree of risk. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information contained in This Month in Real Estate.

 

Start Building Equity: Here’s What Your Current Rent Can Buy You In The Greater Philadelphia Area

Both in the city of Philadelphia and in the surrounding suburbs, rent prices have been steadily increasing.  If you are currently renting there is a better alternative than giving money to someone else each month. And it allows you to build your own equity –that is homeownership.  Contrary to what you believe, homeownership is within your reach.   In fact, it’s quite possible owning a home will cost you less than what you are currently paying in rent each month.

Data shows that the average monthly rent in the area is $2,100 a month. Here is a list of some of the top neighborhoods for young professionals in the city and in the suburbs, and what you could afford there for less than what you are paying each month in rent.

Here are current listings you could afford for less than the average price of rent each month in the city of Philadelphia.

Here are current listings you could afford for less than the average price of rent each month in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Top 10 Neighborhoods For Young Professionals In The City

  1. Chinatown
  2. Graduate Hospital
  3. Fitler Square
  4. Washington Square West
  5. Old City
  6. Center City East
  7. Society Hill
  8. Northern Liberties
  9. Hawthorne
  10. Bella Vista

Top 10 Areas For Young Professionals In The Philadelphia Suburbs

  1. West Conshohocken
  2. Conshohocken
  3. Ardmore
  4. Chesterbrook
  5. King of Prussia
  6. Ambler
  7. Media
  8. Narberth
  9. Eagleville
  10. Paoli

2018 is just around the corner and Goldman Sachs is predicting a large increase in interest rates. They are predicting that rates will increase four times next year. Now may be the best time for you to buy a home in Philadelphia area.

Want to know more about home ownership? The Silva Group is here to help you with all of your real estate needs.

3 Things To Contemplate When Choosing A Real Estate Agent To Work With

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, finding the right real estate agent to work with is crucial.  Before choosing the agent that is right for you and your family there is a lot to take into consideration.  Here are 3 things to contemplate before you hire an agent.

What and where?

Before choosing a real estate agent to work with, know exactly what your ideal home will look like and where it will be located. You want an agent who is an expert in that area.  Write down all the amenities you are looking for in your new home so your future agent will have a clear picture of what you are looking for.

Are you ready to move?

Housing inventory is low and both buyers and sellers should be ready to move within as little as two months after putting their home on the market or putting a contract on a home.  Before you meet with a real estate agent make sure you are ready to make a move. Things are happening quickly in today’s real estate market.

Interview agents

Once you have a clear picture of what you want in a new home and are ready to make a move it’s time to start interviewing local real estate agents.  You want to interview a few agents to find the one that best fits your needs.  Look for one that has a clear plan to market your home to get it sold or who understands clearly what your needs are and what you are looking for in your new home if you are buying. You want an agent that is an expert in the area where you will be buying or selling.  Consider meeting potential agents at a local coffee shop. Over a cup of coffee get to really know them and what motivates them. You want an agent that will be looking out for your best interest, is client focused, and an expert in the field.

The Silva Group is comprised of Philadelphia area’s best and brightest in the real estate industry and we are here to help you with all your real estate needs. We are experts in our field and are here for you. Contact us today to see how we can help.

 

4 Home Buying Mistakes Not To Make In This Hot Housing Market

There is no doubt about it the housing market in the area is a hot one right now. With decreased inventory and increased demand houses are selling quickly. Some would say it’s a “seller’s market”. So what does that mean for you if you are looking to buy? It means there are 4 buying mistakes that you do not want to make in this hot housing market.

1.Don’t act out of fear

It can be disheartening to see a home you would be interested in go under contract before you have even had a chance to view it, but you don’t want to act on fear of losing a home and make an impulse decision.

Buying a home is a major decision and should not be made out of fear or out of impulse. Don’t buy a home that isn’t quite what you are looking for or more than you can afford in fear that you may not find what you are looking for. When you know exactly what you are looking for in a home let your real estate agent know so that they can be on alert and looking for a home that meets your needs. With that being said when a home meets all your needs and is in your price range be ready to act quickly.

2.Don’t linger

If a home meets all your needs and price point the last thing you want to see is that home go under contract before you even had a chance to view it. Be ready to view a home that meets all your needs immediately and be pre-approved for a loan before you begin your home search in this hot market.

3.Know your budget

Don’t try to determine what you can afford comfortably by trying to ballpark numbers in your head. Buying a home is a major life decision and you want to know exactly what you can comfortably afford. Don’t be surprised in today’s market when you have to make a quick decision about increasing your price range or what you are offering. You want to know exactly what you can afford. Before you begin viewing homes meet with your financial advisor or a financial planner and get pre-approved for a loan.

4.Don’t overpay

It can be easy to get caught up in the bidding wars that go on. If you have been outbid in the past on a home you may be determined to not lose again. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of overpaying. Working with a real estate agent familiar with the market is a must as they can assist you in not overbidding on a home. They are familiar with what comparable homes in the area have sold for and will be there to guide you.

There are some great houses hitting the market, but they go fast, so be ready to move fast as well. The Silva Group is comprised of Philadelphia area’s best and brightest in the real estate industry and we are here to help you with all your real estate needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.

 

3 Reasons You Need To Buy A Home This Summer

Summer tends to be the busy season in the real estate market. Beyond being a busy time of year, there are some very real reasons why buying a home this summer is a good idea. If you are considering buying a home in the near future here are three reasons you need to buy this summer.

1.Rising Home Prices

In the last 12 months, home prices across the nation have increased by 12% according to the recent CoreLogic’s Home Price Index report and it projects that home prices will increase by at least 4.9 % in the year to come. Waiting will only cost you more. In the Greater Philadelphia area home prices this year are up over $16,000 over last year and in the South New Jersey Shore area, home prices are up over $8,000. For a more detailed look at our current housing see the most recent report here.

2.Rising Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve has slowly begun raising interest rates and The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and The National Association of Realtors are all predicting that mortgage interest rates will increase in the next year.  Increasing rates will increase the amount you will pay each month on your mortgage.  This is another instance where waiting to buy could potentially cost you more.

3.You’re Paying Each Month Anyway

If you are currently renting and are uncertain if you are ready to take on the responsibilities that come with having a mortgage, you are essentially already paying a mortgage. If you are the owner of the home you will be gaining equity in your home, whereas a renter you don’t.

If now is the right time for you and your family to buy a home The Silva Group is here to help. Contact us at any time or feel free to call us directly at (267) 202-7400 to see how we can help you with all your real estate needs.

 

This Month in Real Estate – June 2017

This Month in Real Estate
June 2017 Market Update
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Monthly VideoAccording to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing home sales dipped in the month of April. Inventory levels failed to keep pace with demand, especially in the starter home and mid-range categories. In addition, homes remained on the market for an average of just 29 days before selling, which is the fastest rate recorded since 2011.
Interest Rates
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Monthly VideoAccording to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed rates ticked down from 4.03 percent to 3.94 percent. This rate remains well below the historical average of 8.90 percent.
Home Sales
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Home Sales Graph
The National Association of REALTORS® reported home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of approximately 5.57 million homes during the month of April. This was a decrease of 2.3 percent from March, and an increase of 2.6 percent from April of last year.
Home Prices
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Home Price Graph
The median home price increased to $244,800 in April, which was up 3.5 percent from March and up 6.0 percent from April of last year. The median home price has increased by approximately $13,900 in the past year alone.
Inventory
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Inventory Graph
There was a 4.2-month supply of housing inventory in April, which was up 10.5 percent from March. The total number of available homes for sale decreased by 10.6 percent compared to April of last year.
Brought to you by KW Research. For additional graphs and details, please see the This Month in Real Estate PowerPoint Report.The opinions expressed in This Month in Real Estate are intended to supplement opinions on real estate expressed by local and national media, local real estate agents and other expert sources. You should not treat any opinion expressed on This Month in Real Estate as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., does not guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of information, and provides said information without warranties of any kind. All information presented herein is intended and should be used for educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. All investments involve some degree of risk. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information contained in This Month in Real Estate.

How To Spot A Dog Friendly Neighborhood

Nearly 36% of all households in the United States have a dog according to a survey from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. It is no surprise that many homebuyers are searching for a home in a neighborhood that is pet-friendly.  If you are looking for a pet-friendly neighborhood but aren’t sure where to start, here’s some help.

1.Do you notice other dogs out and about?

While exploring a potential neighborhood do you see a lot of dogs out playing in yards or out for a walk with their owners?  Where there are a lot of dogs there are dog owners, and that means you are more likely to have neighbors who love dogs just as much as you do.  You want to make sure you are living in an area where neighbors, landlords, and local business owners will be welcoming of you and your pet.

2.Where are the dog parks?

Not all dog parks are alike, and you should find out how close the nearest dog park is to a neighborhood you are interested in.  Once you find the nearest dog park, visit it on a busy weekend morning and get a feel for it. Are the owners attentive, is it clean? Are people taking responsibility in cleaning up after their dogs? The answers will give you some idea as to what type of owner and dogs generally visit that park and if it’s a good fit for you and your pet.

3.How close are pet supply stores and veterinarians?

An area that cares about dogs will have in close proximity a veterinarian, pet supply store, and even animal shelters.  When you are living in a community that cares about dogs that’s a good sign you have found the right neighborhood.

4.Walkability

If you like to get out and walk with your dog (which most dog owners do), you will want a neighborhood with light traffic and made for walking.  Sidewalk or trails are a plus when looking for a dog friendly neighborhood.

When choosing to move, you want everyone in your family to be happy with the decision – your dog included. If you are looking for a pet-friendly neighborhood to call home let The Silva Group help. We are made up of the Philadelphia area’s best and brightest in the real estate industry and we are here to help you with any and all of your real estate needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.

New Construction Insider Secrets Every Buyer Should Know

When it comes to buying a new construction home the process is different than that of buying an existing home.  While different than what you may be used to, buying a new construction home can be a fun and rewarding experience.  Here are some insider secrets you should know when it comes to buying a new construction home.

What Impacts Pricing

Builders don’t just pull a number out of a hat and decide that is what the asking price will be. There are many factors involved that make up the asking price such as:

  • Where the home is located
  • How much the land cost that the home was built on
  • The total cost of all materials needed to build the home
  • The labor costs involved
  • The area market conditions
  • Impact fees imposed on the builder

You Need A Real Estate Agent

Purchasing a new construction home can be a complicated process and even intimidating if it’s your first time.  You want someone looking out for your best interest and a real estate agent is there to do that for you.   Interview and hire a real estate agent who is experienced in working with new construction.  Many builders will require you to have your real estate agent with you the first time you visit the model home or community.

Right Time To Buy

Buying a new construction home should fit your timetable, but keep in mind some larger publicly traded companies have sales goals they need to meet before a quarter ends to satisfy their shareholders.  You may find that builders offer more incentives when it comes to buying a new construction home towards the end of a quarter.

Pricing

Don’t expect a builder to lower their asking price. If they do it once it sets the precedent for their future sales. Instead, builders may be willing to negotiate more on upgrades in the home. Closing costs are other negotiable points.  Don’t think that by not using a real estate agent that they will drop their price because they aren’t paying a commission. That doesn’t happen.

Get It In Writing

No matter how minimal it seems, you want to get everything in writing.  To protect yourself you want to have every detail in writing.  This is when a real estate agent working on your behalf can help make sure you and your desires are protected.

Buying A Model Home

Builders do sell their model home and they can be a great purchase and an excellent deal. Model homes are the shining star of builders and are designed to showcase their best work.  Many times you will find they are full of upgrades and special features. When a development is nearing completion most model homes go up for sale and this could be a deal for a buyer.

Builder Research

Always do your research before hiring a builder, as all work is not created equal.  Talk with other homeowners who have purchased a home from a builder as well as ask for references.

Lender Choices

When it comes to securing lending for your new home, know that as the buyer you have choices. The builder may have a preferred lender or may even offer their own financing, but that does not mean you have to utilize it.  Always shop around and find a loan that terms and rates are best suited for you and your needs.

The Silva Group has a close relationship with many local builders and are qualified to assist you in buying a new construction home. Contact us today to see how we can help you make your dream home become a reality.