When searching for a new house, topping most people’s list of requirements are the number of bedrooms, number and configuration of bathrooms, square footage, yard size—characteristics that are easy to compare. Architectural style might be important; asking price, certainly highly important, although many prospective buyers assume some wiggle room might be possible.
There are so many facts to consider, particularly when that new home might include relocating to Leisure Village, that one extremely important factor sometimes gets short shrift: the neighborhood.
When I escort my clients on a tour of the properties they have decided to check out, I’m sure to remind them to observe the surroundings as well as the home. Some key details to observe about a neighborhood when relocating to Leisure Village:
Noise levels will vary by hour and day. If at all possible, visit candidate properties at different times of day and night to get a feel for the noise level in the neighborhood. Is there a lot of traffic and honking? Trucks passing by? If so, does the traffic layout make them hit their brakes or upshift frequently? Is there a church nearby that fills the street with cars on Sunday? Will that be okay—or an annoyance? Are there noisy restaurants or pubs that might keep you up late at night on weekends? When you are relocating to a new area and can’t visit often, talk to some neighbors: they have the real scoop!
Even if you don’t have kids, it’s important to learn the reputation of the area’s school district: it will affect the resale value. Homes in better school districts are more desirable, and merit higher price tags as a result.
The Internet is a terrific asset when it comes to scoping out crime maps and reports for specific areas—often with free up-to-the-minute information and alerts on crime rates. A chat with neighbors can also help you sense the level of concern—or, ideally, the lack of it.
As you approach an area, notice whether the road quality improves or falls off as you get closer. If the streets are crumbling and filled with potholes, community services may be suspect. Are the public parks grassy and clean? How handy are the nearest hospital, fire department and police stations? Before relocating to Leisure Village, see if you can tell which neighborhoods seem to be on the rise. Any obvious trend has a good chance of continuing in years to come.
Relocating to Leisure Village – even if just from one end of town to another—is an exciting prospect! If you’re looking to buy a home in Leisure Village this spring, it’s time I got on your radar. Call me today!
Five Indications That Time is Ripe to Buy a Leisure Village Home
Spring signals the traditional start of real estate’s busy selling season, and while that’s all well and fine, when it comes to making your own momentous personal real estate decision—whether to buy a home or to sell your own—trying to decide exactly when to make the move is easier said than done.
It is true that this year national observers are unusually unanimous in expecting that last year’s sales upswing will continue. But if you are deciding whether now is the right time to buy a Leisure Village home (or list yours for sale), the reasons behind the quickening sales activity might be an eye-opener. Here are five of the headline reasons why so many will decide to buy a home in Leisure Village in 2014:
A Third Cheaper Than Renting
Web giant Trulia’s national averages show that it is still 35% less expensive to own than to rent. In the 100 largest metropolitan areas, even after mortgage rates rose from 3.75 to 4.50%, the home ownership advantage continued.
Protection Against Rising Rents
Renters are finding it more of a hassle even to find an apartment. In the third quarter of 2013, the U.S. apartment vacancy rate fell to its lowest level in over a decade (4.2%) even as the average effective rent in the U.S. rose by 3%, year over year. With supply of rental accommodation tight and unemployment falling, experts expect even higher rents in 2014.
House Prices Are Still Relatively Low
Again according to Trulia, house prices are still below benchmark value levels. In 91% of the largest metropolitan markets, analysts estimate that homes were 7% undervalued in 2013…and headed up.
It’s Becoming Easier to Qualify for a Mortgage
As interest rates rise, mortgage lender refinance business will suffer. Consequently, lenders will need to compete harder for new home buyers. That’s expected to lead to loosening of lending strictures, effectively increasing the number of prospective buyers.
House Prices Are Expected To Rise
House prices increased by 2% in the third quarter of last year, according to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) figures. If consensus predictions hold true, house prices will continue to rise by 3% in 2014….making sooner rather than later the optimal way to participate in that upward trajectory.
Whether you are hoping to buy a home in Leisure Village this year or beginning to think it’s time to explore selling, the signs are certainly there. Call me anytime this week—or drop by the office to chat!
Check ou the YouTube video which shows all the photos of this lovely home: http://youtu.be/tklE0L9B5zM
A beautiful and highly upgraded, very popular El Dorado model in Leisure Village
(55+) community. This home is close to the Recreation Center and features newer
kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, gorgeous wood-like flooring, all high
quality stainless appliances and sink. Bathrooms have been upgraded with newer
fixtures and shower enclosures. The home is very attractive, decorated in
designer colors. There is an enclosed patio for additional space and open patio
area as well with slumpstone wall surrounding. To the rear of the patio there is
an expansive greenbelt area view. This is a home you will really want to see!
Leisure Village offers its residents 18hole- par 3 golf, tennis, lawn chess,
shuffleboard, paddle tennis, wood shop, billiards room, ceramins shop, pool,
spa, library, lapidary shop and a club for jst about any interest.
January presented us with major changes to mortgage lending rules. These new guidelines aim to curb some of the excesses that occurred during the sub-prime years—hopefully resulting in a lower risk of default and foreclosure by borrowers and a healthier real estate climate for everyone.
QM: “Qualified Mortgage”
This all came about as one offshoot of the Dodd-Frank legislation that went into effect in 2014. It creates a new category, “Qualified Mortgage.” Lending institutions are required to document each loan they deem to be a QM; when they do, they benefit by being able to sell them to Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac, and are protected from legal action in the event of a future default.
The reason that these changes won’t keep most borrowers from getting a Leisure village loan is that loans that don’t qualify (“Non-QM” loans) will still be offered by some banks—they’ll simply keep them on their own books.
The bedrock requirement for a QM is an evaluation of the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. That’s the projection of debts divided by income on a month-to-month basis — especially important when getting a Leisure village loan with a variable interest rate. If it seems to you that this calculation makes common sense for any loan—I’m in your camp! The reason a bank might choose to issue a loan that does not meet the letter of this requirement could be their analysis that the percentages dictated by the rules are too strict for a particular borrower.
A Qualified Mortgage can’t have any of the risky factors that were hallmarks of the mortgage meltdown. Included are “no” or “low-doc” loans; loans with terms longer than 30 years, interest-only loans, and those with minimum payments that don’t keep pace with interest rates, causing the loan balance to increase.
So: what’s the bottom line for buyers’ intent on getting a loan in Leisure Village this year?
The good news: most loans will go through as before (estimates are about 95% of them). But more paperwork and longer processing times are likely, and since fees and charges for a QM cannot exceed 3% of the mortgage, getting a smaller loan might become more difficult if banks determine they can’t make a profit.
In any case, coming prepared is still the best insurance that your loan goes through as smoothly as possible. If you’re looking to buy a home in Leisure Village this season, I’ll help make sure your preparation is first-rate!
Yesterday was such a wonderful afternoon. Thank you all (150 of you) for joining me for lunch. It was a pleasure to be surrounded by all of you, and to introduce you to Bill, Judy and Steve. My daughter Meryll was also there. 😉
Here is a link to the photos on YouTube.com: http://youtu.be/3AGE8AeJEmA