CENTRAL MASS HOUSE SITTING IS A REAL CALLING

Central Mass real estate’s many selling seasons also finds us at the beginning of many a

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homeowner’s personal vacation season. For those whose homes are on the market, one of the benefits of having a close working relationship with their Central Mass real estate agent means that they can take off for their out-of-town holiday without having to worry about losing prospective buyers. If my clients instruct me to continue showings in their absence, it’s no problem; likewise, if they’d prefer to hold off until their return, the showing schedule is juggled accordingly.

When a house sitter is part of the picture, it’s a low-stress showing situation, as well. Good house sitters keep their client’s property in order on a day-to-day basis anyway, so with the agreed-upon advance scheduling, showings can proceed as usual. It’s especially nice when the Central Mass homeowner returns to find good news on the real estate front! I can also process a transaction online if the homeowner has a computer handy.

There are two truisms about leaving your most valuable asset, your home in the care of any house sitter.

The first is to select the sitter wisely. It’s usually best to go with a neighborhood favorite: someone who is local to your area, who comes highly recommended by neighbors, and who views house sitting as a professional calling. That doesn’t mean he or she should necessarily be a full-time house sitter (many great sitters have other jobs). It does mean that, since it is at least a part-time occupation, he or she has a reputation to preserve. Cousin Mark or Aunt Mildred might be more than competent enough to do the job, but if it seems to them more like an imposition rather than a calling, the results can be less than top-notch.

The second necessity for getting a satisfactory (and safe) house sitting result after a first-

rate house sitter has been recruited is to provide the raw materials that allow them to do

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their best job. In the house-sitting realm those raw materials consist of good information: the vital information that you usually take for granted, but which is necessary to oversee the proper functioning of the property. The information should be made available in a carefully assembled and written list. Some (not all) of the items you gather could include your on-the-go contact information at each destination; alternative contact persons; names and phone numbers of any service persons scheduled to be working on the property; emergency numbers for the local maintenance professionals you rely on for things like plumbing emergencies; and at the top of the page, right after “911”—the town emergency numbers for police and fire departments.

Elsewhere, near the TV and other electronics, it’s also considerate to write out in explicit detail how to turn them on. As we all know, in today’s world that can require a page or two…

When your property’s operations/emergency list is complete, be sure to reserve some time to go over the items with your house sitter before Getaway Day, when the schedule can easily grow too hectic to do the briefing properly. And if your house really is currently on the market, include your real estate agent’s contact information; which I hope is mine!…..Realty Ace, LLC

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A DIRECT BOOST TO SELLING YOUR HOME IN CENTRAL MASS

Marketers for any Central Mass business want to know as much as possible about their

Marketing your home
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“customer base”, the population of potential buyers who might be attracted to their product. If you are in the process of selling your Central Mass home, the speed at which you succeed and the amount of profit that results will greatly depend on how effectively you appeal to your offering’s customer base: the folks who might be interested in your Central Mass property.

When you take me on as your selling agent (a good idea, for sure!), you’ve relieved yourself of the vast majority of the burden of marketing. It’s what I and the resource partners I use do as a full-time job and we’re successful at it. You can certainly let your friends and family know that you are selling your home (and what a great place it is) if you choose, but the lion’s share of marketing to the public at large will be well and energetically handled by your Central Mass Realtor®.

Yet there is one step you can take that might be extremely beneficial to your marketing campaign. It has to do with that customer base we were aiming for: specifically, it has to do with widening it. It’s where the FHA comes in.

The Federal Housing Administration was created back during the Great Depression to spur home construction. By offering government-backed insurance that encouraged banks to offer home loans, it created jobs, helped families find proper housing, and spawned a host of other beneficial side effects. The FHA doesn’t actually make any loans itself—but it does assume most of the risk.

Today, due to a variety of economic factors that have made qualifying for a home loan somewhat more difficult, it’s fair to say that the size of the customer base has not grown even as fast as the slow-motion economic recovery. Along with other factors, banks have been timid about lending due to the potential penalties for not following strict guidelines. The customer base, measured by how many potential homebuyers can easily get mortgage loans has lagged. This situation has improved lately, but some still complain that home loan resurgence remains sluggish. Likewise, growth in the customer base.

Paper with words fha loan on a wooden background.
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For anyone selling their Central Mass home, one way to expand the customer base is to make your property what you might call “FHA-Friendly”; that is, transparently a good candidate to qualify for an FHA loan guarantee. This isn’t the place to go over all the details about how that can be accomplished, but if your asking price is within FHA guidelines for our region of Massachusetts and you are confident no serious defects will be found during the home inspection, much of the goal will have been attained.

If you will be selling your Central Mass home this fall or winter, now is a very good time to give me a call. FHA-friendly or not, we’ll make sure your customer base is primed and ready!….. Realty Ace, LLC

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CENTRAL MASS MORTGAGE RATES STILL AT BARGAIN LEVELS, BUT…

Last week, when Central Mass mortgage rates began to rise abruptly, you’d have to say

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that it was actually a double-barreled surprise. In addition to the sudden blip up on the mortgage rate charts, there was the second shocker: that so many expert observers were taken by surprise.

Even though the actual rise in mortgage rates was what Zillow’s chief economist called “a relatively modest” increase, it prompted The New York Times to headline the fact that lenders and home buyers alike had all been caught off guard. With Central Mass mortgage rates having remained under 4% for years, the notion that experts could be taken by surprise whenever they began to rise has to rate as the real shocker.

With experts, lenders, and home shoppers having been surprised by last week’s rate uptick, the real question is whether they will continue to be surprised if rates keep climbing. True, nobody has a reliable calendar showing exactly where Central Mass rates will be at any given point in time, but a dispassionate survey of history (credit Jim Whittaker’s real estate marketing blog) reveals the following compilation of the national averages for mortgage rates:

1970s:   8.85%

1980s:  12.7%

1990s:   8.12%

2000s:   6.29%

2010s:  3.5%

Freddie Mac’s market survey showed last week’s average at 3.94%. Taking a look at the historical record, you have to wonder if lenders and other experts will be equally

Interest Rate Percent Numbers Three Red Dice Refinance Debt Cred
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“surprised” if and when rates top 4%…or 5%…or 6%?

It’s hard not to conclude that for Central Mass sellers—as well as for all those who have been thinking about buying a home eventually—last week’s mortgage rate “surprise” should come as a wake-up call to action. Many others have already foreseen the opportunity: October’s national existing home sales reached the highest annualized pace in nearly a decade. According to the NAR®, “all major regions saw monthly and annual sales increases in October.” Housing starts were up, as well.

Low mortgage interest rates are not the only reason to list your Central Mass property or decide that now is the time to shop for your next home. But the fact that they remain (at least for the moment) as low as they do is so important to the bottom line cost of owning a home that it should be no “surprise” at all that consumers see why today’s market looks like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Taking the first step to investigate what this can mean to your future is as simple as just giving me a call!…..Realty Ace, LLC

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5 REASONS WHY HOME-OWNERSHIP IS A GOOD FINANCIAL INVESTMENT

5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment | Simplifying The Market

5 Reasons Why Home-ownership Is a Good Financial Investment

According to a recent report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 37.7%.” That may have some thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension. But, does that make sense from a financial perspective?

IS GETTING A HOME MORTGAGE STILL TOO DIFFICULT?

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult? | Simplifying The Market

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 – 2006.

MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES JUST WENT UP… SHOULD I WAIT TO BUY?

5 REASONS TO HIRE A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL WHEN BUYING & SELLING!

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying & Selling! | Simplifying The Market

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying & Selling!

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey; you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

Thinking of Selling? Don’t Overlook an Outdated Kitchen, Buyers Won’t

If you are planning on listing your home for sale, make sure that you don’t overlook the condition of your kitchen. A recent article on realtor.com listed “7 Signs Your Kitchen Is Way Overdue for a Renovation,” in which they warned:

Thinking of Selling? Don’t Overlook an Outdated Kitchen, Buyers Won’t | Simplifying The Market