You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
There’s a new player in the real estate game today: the iBuyer, or ‘instant buyers.’ They’re also known as ‘institutional flippers.’ Have you ever driven down a street and seen a sign that says “We Buy Ugly Houses” or “We’ll Buy Your House for Cash in Seven Days”? Those signs come from mom-and-pop flippers, but other recognizable brands like Zillow Offers, Offerpad, and Open Door—all these companies can also be considered iBuyer's. Here’s how they work:
A home seller visits one of the iBuyers’ websites and fills out the information about their house. The company they chose will send them an instant offer within a day or two, which the seller can accept or reject. An iBuyer’s offer comes with the promise that selling to them is a simpler, easier way to sell your home as compared to a more traditional approach. Essentially, they’re selling a speedier, more convenient way to list a home; all the seller has to do is accept the offer and then the iBuyer will take care of preparing the home for sale, marketing, and so on.
An estimated 40% of homebuyers in Phoenix have received offers from iBuyers before they even considered putting their homes on the market. That begs the question, “Should you sell your home to an iBuyer?”
My answer to that question is that it depends. Do you need to sell your home very quickly? If so, selling to them may be worth considering. However, it would be short-sighted for you not to consider the downfalls of selling to an iBuyer.
One of the downfalls associated with iBuyers is that they’ll offer you a lot less for your home than it’s worth on the open market. Not only that, but they’ll also charge a service fee and they may even have a list of repairs tied to that offer. If you choose not to make those repairs, they’ll lower their offer.
It would be short-sighted for you not to consider the downfalls of selling to an iBuyer.
It’s hard to know exactly how much sellers stand to lose when they choose to sell to an iBuyer over going the traditional route, but according to the financial website Market Watch, the average loss for sellers is around 11%; in some markets, it’s as high as 20%.
In the end, iBuyers aren’t going anywhere. They’ll continue to be a segment of the marketplace as much as the traditional path of selling your home with a real estate agent. So if you’re considering selling to an iBuyer, it’s wise to do your homework. Unsurprisingly, nine out of 10 home sellers reject iBuyer offers.
If you’re thinking of selling your home, we can provide you with an idea of what it’s worth on the market and how long it would take to sell. All you have to do is reach out to us! We’ll also address any questions you have about the virtues of selling your home traditionally versus selling to an iBuyer. We’d be happy to help.
Our team is passionate about giving back to the community in more ways than just helping you buy and sell real estate. We also like to get involved with local charities, which is exactly what we’re here to talk about today.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Dale Darcas of the Serving Our Kids Foundation at their warehouse to talk about what this organization does for our community. We also chatted about a couple of great events that are coming up, both of which we’d love for you to attend.
Before we share more information about those events, let’s first go over what Serving Our Kids is all about.
“Serving Our Kids is a 100% volunteer organization that provides weekend food bags to homeless and at-risk kids throughout the Clark County school district,” says Dale. He went on to explain that this year, Serving Our Kids is working with over 70 local schools to help feed about 3,500 children each and every week.
"Serving Our Kids is working with over 70 local schools to help feed about 3,500 children each and every week."
This is absolutely incredible, but, as you can imagine, it takes a lot of food to serve all those kids. So much food, in fact, that their warehouse shelves are running low.
While Dale and his fellow volunteers are, obviously, thrilled at how much the organization has grown, they’re also working hard to keep up with the extra demand this expansion brings. And that’s where those events I mentioned earlier come in.
First, Dunes and Trails ATV Club will be hosting a bagging event at the Serving Our Kids warehouse on October 10 at 6 p.m., and we’d love for you to come and help out.
You can take a peek inside their warehouse for yourself right now by checking out the video above.
If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Today my guest Jerry Cornell of Bug Fighter Pest Control will talk about why you’re better off hiring a professional exterminator to handle pest control in your home instead of trying it yourself.
Many people prefer to make the trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot, buy some pesticides, and spray their own home rather than call a professional (I do the same thing). And the ironic thing is, you can buy nearly all the same pesticides that an exterminator can. The difference between hiring a professional and trying to do the job yourself, though, is that these professionals are a part of a highly regulated industry that features a lot of continuing education.
In other words, they know the state and federal regulations regarding pest control, and they know which insects are in your home and the proper chemicals to use to get rid of them.
"Spraying your home brings invaluable peace of mind."
If you’re new to the Las Vegas area and you moved here from California, we have a lot of the same insect problems that California does. Black widows, scorpions (the smaller, the deadlier), centipedes, wasps, and cockroaches can all cause problems for Las Vegas homeowners.
So how often should you have your home sprayed? At Bug Fighter Pest Control, they spray the exterior of homes once a month from March through November. They don’t spray during winter since most of the insects are dormant then. Spraying this often will maintain a nice perimeter around your home so you don’t have to spray the interior as often. For commercial properties, they spray year-round and do both the interior and exterior.
Each situation is different, but if you have small children or pets in your home, you can rest assured that once a chemical dries, the area it’s coating is perfectly safe.
The bottom line is, spraying your home brings invaluable peace of mind. The last thing you want as a homeowner is to see roaches scatter every time you open your front door, or spiders hanging from the ceilings. You pay a lot for the home itself, so you should have a clean environment you feel safe in.
If you have any questions for Jerry or you’re interested in having your house sprayed, you can give him a call at (702) 714-1536.
As always, if you have any other real estate questions for me or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.
So why is it better to work with a Realtor when looking at new construction homes?
1. Representation. If you walk into that new home sales office without an agent, you’re no longer allowed to have your own representation, which is very important to have when navigating through the new home sales process.
2. It’s absolutely free. The builder pays your agent’s commission, not you. You have nothing to worry about on that front.
"Always call a professional first."
3. Leverage. A good real estate professional will have two or three lenders, landscapers, home interior designers, and flooring companies on hand so that you can use these resources as you need them. This will also help you compare their rates to what the builder is charging you for various features.
4. Negotiations. The home I’m standing in today is under contract with one of my buyers. When we went under contract, we were able to negotiate $40,000 off the total purchase price simply by asking the right questions. When you use a strong negotiator, you can save thousands of dollars.
Please keep these points in mind before you go into a new home development with any intent to purchase. Always call a professional first.
If you have any questions about this or other real estate topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help you.
I’m joined today by Brian Maier of Mortgage Box to give the answer to a big question many people have: What kind of credit score do you need to purchase a house?
There’s a lot of misleading information online when it comes to credit scores. Each lender uses different restrictions and overlays when it comes to approving a loan—ideally, you’ll want to have a credit score of 620 or higher.
However, there are programs that accept scores of 580, and some even accept scores as low as 500.
If your score is over 700, it usually makes the most sense to go with a conventional loan. These loans are driven by credit scores; 740 and higher is the top tier, but for each 20-point increment that your score drops, your interest rate rises. This goes all the way down to 620 for a conventional loan.
"There are programs that accept scores of 580, and some even go as low as 500."
Below this, you have to start looking at FHA and VA loans. FHA loans aren’t based on credit score when it comes to pricing—the interest rate is the same, regardless of a 600 score or an 800 score. Depending on your score, there’s a point where it may make more sense to take an FHA loan over a conventional loan.
If your score is under 580, an FHA loan typically requires additional compensating factors—a 10% down payment, for example. If you’re over 580, you can still put 3.5% down on an FHA loan.
Credit-monitoring companies like Credit Karma can be a little misleading; there are many credit scoring models out there, but lenders use FICO scores. While your Credit Karma score may be 580, our report could say 620. The opposite could also be true, but you can’t know for sure until you speak with a lender.
I’d like to thank Brian for giving us some great insight into how credit scores relate to loan programs. Feel free to give him a call at 702-432-5626 or email Info@MortgageBoxNV.com.
And if you have any other questions or need more information, reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Brian Maier from Mortgage Box finds it surprising how many people think that they need to put 20% down on a home. If they’re saving up for that long, it could be years before they have enough, and they’ll have missed a lot of opportunities in that time. That’s not to mention the appreciation rate; a home that sold at $200,000 two years ago is selling for over $250,000 today. We can’t accurately predict future appreciation, but based on past appreciation, home prices are going up faster than people are able to save for.
The fact is that you don’t need to put 20% down to buy a home. In fact, the majority of Brian’s borrowers put way less than that down. There are programs for first-time homebuyers and for those who are simply buying a primary residence that allow for a down payment as small as 3% out of pocket. He’s also able to get his borrowers lender credits, which help to cover closing costs.
"If you’re looking for a loan program that will allow to you put less than 20% down (or nothing at all), your first step is to align yourself with a great lender."
In essence, you could get into a $200,000 house with only $6,000. That down payment could also be entirely comprised of gift money from a family member.
Other programs like the VA loan don’t require a down payment at all. To qualify for the VA loan, however, you do need to be either in active duty in the military or a veteran. Unlike the FHA and conventional loans, the VA loan doesn’t require you to have monthly mortgage insurance when you put less than 20% down on a home. Another nice feature of the VA loan is the option to do jumbo VA loans, which allow you to borrow up to $1 million and you don’t even have to stay within the conforming loan amounts, which is $484,000 in Clark County. However, once you exceed the conforming loan amounts, the VA loan will no longer be zero-down and you’ll be expected to put a little bit down.
In addition to the rate of appreciation, another thing working against those who are saving up for a down payment is the general trend of interest rates. We’ve had a 10-year bull market run, and over the next few years, rates are projected to increase. By waiting to save for a down payment, it may actually end up costing you a lot more down the road, with home prices and interest rates both on the rise. Those two factors combined could end up pricing you out of the market altogether, so it’s better to put less money down to get into a house, which allows you to budget your payments and ride your home’s appreciation over time.
If you have any questions about this or other real estate topics, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at the Ravago Group.
I get a lot of questions about the home buying process. One of the biggest questions I receive is about how to get started, so I’m joined today by Brian Maier of Mortgage Box, who will be talking to us about the first step in buying a house.
That first step is to talk with a lender. Your lender will be able to walk you through the entire process of securing a mortgage. They don’t just tell you what you can afford—they help you find a price point you’re comfortable paying.
"Lenders can give borrowers the whole picture."
When Brian speaks with his clients, he looks at how a mortgage fits in with their long-term financial goals. 98% of buyers begin their home search online, but online calculators aren’t always accurate when finding out what you can afford, so getting pre-approved and knowing your price point is important.
There are so many variables in play when it comes to calculating a mortgage payment. Numbers can change depending on credit score, type of loan, taxes, etc. Online calculators simply don’t handle these factors, but lenders can give borrowers the whole picture.
If someone thinks they can afford a $300,000 home, then comes to us and finds out their monthly payment is outrageous, it can be difficult for them to backtrack. By speaking with a lender from the outset, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.
I’d like to thank Brian for speaking with us today—if you’d like to contact him, call 702-432-5626 oremail Info@MortgageBoxNV.com.
If you have any real estate-related questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates last December, how is this affecting current mortgage rates in our real estate market?
Whenever the Fed raises interest rates, people tend to assume mortgage rates will spike, but according to Brian Maier, mortgage broker and owner of Mortgage Box, there is no direct correlation between the Fed raising interest rates and the long-term future of mortgage rates.
When the Fed raised interest rates last December, that was the federal funds rate—not the mortgage rate. The federal funds rate is the rate at which banks lend to each other—not the consumer. Additionally, the Fed was very transparent about their intention to raise interest rates leading up to December, so by that time, mortgage rates had already adjusted.
"When the Fed raised interest rates last December, that was the federal funds rate—not the mortgage rate."
Mortgage rates peaked around early November, but since then, they’ve actually decreased by about 0.5%, which is huge. They’ll eventually rise again; it’s all a matter of when. In the meantime, though, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market, which is helpful for mortgage rates. People are pulling money out of their stocks and putting it into bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
This presents a great buying opportunity right now because we don’t know how long they’re going to stay this low. On top of that, the spring market is on the horizon and home sales are starting to pick back up.
If you have any more questions for Brian about how interest rates are impacting our market, you can give him a call at (702) 432-5626 or email him at email@example.com.
As always, if you have any more questions about real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.
The December numbers are in for the Las Vegas residential real estate market, so we wanted to share them with you today.
We ended the year with 8,500 homes on the market. That’s nearly double what we saw in December 2017.
December 2018 also saw about 3,000 homes come on the market, which is up from the 2,500 we saw in December 2017.
Another statistic we like to track is the properties that went under contract, or pending sales. These homes haven’t quite closed yet, but the buyer and seller have agreed on a price and signed a contract. There were 2,400 pending sales in December 2018, down from 2,900 in December 2017.
"If demand remains flat, homes are going to be harder to sell."
Additionally, there were 2,600 closed home sales in December. That’s also down from 3,200 in December 2017.
The percentage of homes closed in December was right at 31%. In December 2017, that figure was almost at 70% because of our limited inventory at the time.
The more homes we have on the market, the more choices buyers will have. If demand remains flat, that’s going to make it harder to sell. In order to maximize your equity, it’s something to keep a close eye on.
If you're thinking about buying a home, now really is a great time to get out there. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and refer you to a great lender in the area.
If you’re thinking about selling a home, we’d be happy to give you a free, no-obligation comparative market analysis on your home.
If you have any other questions or need anything else from me, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.