The market is HOT!
Mortgage rates for all loans are VERY low, but so is housing inventory. That and the fact that there are now several programs that will allow buyers to purchase with $0 down are causing many homes to receive multiple offers and sell above the asking price. You need an experienced, full-time professional that can guide and advise you in this extremely competitive market so you can take advantage of these extremely low rates. Whether it’s your first home, an upgrade, new construction, or downsizing, the right agent can make the difference between buying your dream home or missing out.
Let me be the right agent for you. I’d be happy to interview with you to see if we’re a good fit. Call or text me anytime.
Tara Wallace, Realtor
“Picture perfect” a phrase every seller dreads when thinking about listing their home for sale…
Obtaining and maintaining that picture-perfect look can feel a bit overwhelming, but preparing your home for sale doesn’t have to be so stressful.
Before your professional photoshoot, I suggest focusing on a few things such as decluttering, organizing, deep cleaning, adding a fresh coat of paint where needed, and making sure the home has adequate lighting by replacing any burnt-out lightbulbs. Also, it never hurts to purchase a new shower curtain or accent pillows for the living room. To quickly tidy the house before a showing, keep an empty laundry basket handy to toss items in to take with you or put out of sight.
To get the most out of all your hard work, make sure you hire a full-time real estate professional who will help you correctly price the listing, effectively market the property, understand and manage buyer expectations, and coordinate home staging assistance if necessary.
If you have questions or would like to discuss listing your property, give me a call or text, and let’s get started!
Laken Scarborough, Realtor
Bay St Louis vs. Ocean Springs
These beautiful beachfront communities are on opposite sides of the MS Gulf Coast but offer very similar amenities and tourist attractions. More importantly, both markets are on FIRE!
Bay St. Louis offers a laid-back no “shirt, no shoes, no problem” attitude, stunning beaches, and a funky NOLA-influenced culture. The “Old Towne” area of Bay St. Louis is where all the action is! World-class restaurants, unique shops, and cool bars line the beach and offer gorgeous views of the marina, bay, and gulf. During the spring and summer months, locals and tourists enjoy a small street festival called “2nd Saturday”. Every second Saturday of the month crowds bike, golf cart, drive, or walk to bask in the sun, eat delicious food, listen to live music, and peruse the local shops and art galleries. Bay St Louis is often called a hidden gem, but in recent years has gained national attention for its affordability and hip, NOLA-influenced beach culture. Many Old Towne residents are in fact second homeowners or retirees from the NOLA area.
Just 50 minutes away on the other end of the Coast is another thriving gulf coast gem, Ocean Springs. Like Bay St. Louis, it offers a laid-back culture and lots of art, music, and great food year-round. In the bustling downtown area around Government Street, there is always something to do. New shops, restaurants, and bars are constantly popping up, giving locals and residents plenty to explore. The residential area between Government Street and Front Beach Drive is some of the most highly sought-after real estate on the entire Gulf Coast. These properties are walkable or “golfcart-able” to everything the downtown/Government street corridor has to offer, including the beautiful beaches of the area.
In this market, when more affordable “move-in ready” real estate becomes available in either Bay St. Louis or Oceans Springs, there is always a bidding frenzy! When shopping for real estate in these areas, you need to be ready to make a move as soon as your dream home hits the market. I’d love to tell you more about these areas and help you get prepared to buy, or assist you with marketing and selling your current home. Give me a call or text anytime!
April Cummins, Realtor
Purchasing New Construction vs. Existing Homes
Due to the national housing shortage, many buyers are choosing new construction over existing homes. In this hot market, many buyers find themselves in multiple offer situations. These “bidding wars” usually require buyers to offer and pay well over asking price for an existing home that often needs updating and/or repairs. With a new construction home you can often choose your paint colors, countertops, flooring, cabinets, brick, appliances etc. Buying a brand new home with modern finishes, current energy efficiency standards, new appliances, and a builder’s warranty can be worth waiting for if the home is in the process of being built but not complete.
How do you proceed with purchasing a new construction home? First, you need to get pre-approved with a lender to see just how much home you can afford. Second, you need to choose a builder and a lot. Many builders will build on one of their available lots that you can choose from, or a lot you purchase to build on. Often there are no extra out-of-pocket costs to purchase new construction vs. buying a pre-existing home, but it depends on the type of new construction you plan to buy. There are several differences between a custom builder and a tract builder.
Tract builders often have their own “preferred lenders” that will help you get pre-approved to purchase. They also give buyers the ability to choose from a few pre-selected options such as paint colors, light fixtures, appliances, flooring, countertops, etc., but only during the early stages of construction. Once a tract home is finished, the builder usually will not make modifications to the home. During or before construction begins, requests for modifications such as changing a bathroom layout by removing the tub for a walk-in shower may require a higher, non-refundable earnest money deposit. Many tract builders now have a policy not to make any significant changes to the floor-plan at all.
On the other hand, a custom builder will build whatever design you want on one of their lots or a lot you purchase. With a custom builder, if you pay with a loan, your builder will be given payment draws from your bank as construction progresses. You and your contractor will develop a plan of action and agree on materials, and a timeline. Afterwards, if you make significant modifications to the floorplan, materials, etc. the construction costs could significantly increase. A custom design is often more expensive than a tract builders pre-designed new construction home, but there’s more flexibility with design changes.
Whichever type of new construction home you purchase, your builder should offer a final walkthrough to address any imperfections, touch ups, etc. that need to be addressed before closing. This “punch list” that you and your builder create will ensure the construction is exactly what you expected and that you are satisfied with the final product. In the state of Mississippi, a builder is also required to include a 12-month builder’s warranty which will cover any issues that may arise with the home during your first year of homeownership.
If you are looking to purchase new construction, or an existing home, I can walk you through the buying process and answer all your questions. Give me a call or text anytime.
Paul Williams, Realtor
How to Build Wealth Consistently Using Real Estate
A little over 10 years ago, our country was dealing with one of the worst economic crises of the 21 st century, and it felt like the market would never recover. In 2020, 5.64 million existing homes were sold according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 2021 will be defined by low interest rates and low inventory which will continue to push home prices higher. This is creating opportunities for massive amounts of wealth to be built in real estate, and by ordinary people like us. Appreciation or the rising prices of homes over time is how many people build wealth through real estate. Appreciation combined with leverage offers large returns. If you are buying an investment property in which you are collecting rent, you are making a profit on the amount leftover after making the mortgage payment and covering all other monthly expenses. That will continue to build as you pay down the mortgage and over time, means more money in your pocket. Depreciation is a tax benefit that gives you the ability to write off part of the value of your real estate every year. This can reduce the amount of taxes you pay on the money you make, which means real estate can actually protect your wealth. Check with your CPA to learn how you can benefit from this. As you pay down your mortgage or improve your property, you are gaining the ability to leverage the wealth you have created. The safe way to leverage is to have a positive cash flow. If you leverage property by borrowing less than you make each month, that is a positive cash flow. Inflation also plays a significant role in why real estate builds wealth so consistently over time. As the value of money decreases, the price of goods and services increases. The use of inflation to build wealth in real estate relies on the consistency of your large expenses. Your mortgage and property taxes, for example, stay fixed for the majority of your ownership of the property. If you are interested in learning more about investing in real estate for your future please give
me a call or text. I’d love to help!
Joplyn Roberts Kim, Realtor
At NextHome Simplicity, We Go Above and Beyond
Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest life decisions you’ll ever make. Choosing the right Realtor to represent you in this fast-paced market is your most important, first step. You need someone who has the tools, experience and training to bring about the best possible outcome and help you achieve your goals in your real estate transaction.
At NextHome Simplicity, we go above and beyond when it comes to the service we provide our clients. For our sellers, we offer exceptional marketing services to really showcase their homes and gain buyer exposure, both online and in person.
We provide our sellers with:
- Staging Assistance
- Professional Photography
- Social Media Marketing Including Video
- Matterport 3D Virtual Tours Including Floorplans
- Direct Mail Campaigns
- Online Marketing On Over 300 Real Estate Search Portals
- Can’t Miss “Smart” Real Estate Signage
And that’s just the start.
Part of our “smart” signage includes the Mobile Connect App. With it, potential buyers can easily pull up information about your listing on their device while sitting in front of it in their car. Buyers can even connect with the agent to set up an appointment to view homes they are interested in!
NextHome Simplicity helps make buying or selling a home a breeze with its exceptional service, amazing technology, and professional, full-time agents.
Call or text me to learn more or to schedule an appointment!
Amy Lumm, Realtor
A NOTE TO FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS
It’s Easier Than You Think!
Buying a home can feel extremely intimidating—there’s a lot to know, and do, and qualify for, and budget for. With the right Realtor though, it really is easier than you think. As a recent first-time homebuyer myself, I compiled a list of things I think everyone considering buying should know:
fferent Loans Have Different Standards – Most people think you need great credit and several thousand dollars in the bank to buy a house. Wrong! Some loans require $0 down if the home is in a certain area. Others can accommodate lower credit scores if the home and borrower meet stricter standards. Your Realtor can suggest the right lender to help you become a homeowner no matter what your financial situation.
– Even With a $0 Down Loan, There Are Still Fees – Most contracts require an Earnest Money Deposit, and buyers usually need to pay for the inspection and appraisal. But for roughly the same cost as a security deposit on a rental, you can become a homeowner!
– Pick a Great Realtor, and Only Use Them – New buyers sometimes think they’ll get a better deal by going directly to the listing agent. Wrong! A buyer’s agent will negotiate with the listing agent to get you the best deal possible. New buyers also sometimes think when they find a home online and click “speak to an agent” or “make an appointment” that they’re being connected to the listing agent. Also wrong! This sends you to someone in a pool of local buyer’s agents. Select your Realtor, and they can help you with any and every property you find!
– Insurance Rates Make a Big Impact on Your Monthly Payment –It’s extremely wise to shop around because rates can vary drastically and can impact your monthly payment by several hundred dollars. Consult your Realtor if you have questions about different policies and providers!
– You Can’t Finance It For More Than It Appraises For –Many new buyers in today’s crazy market think they can win the bidding war by offering $20k over asking price since it would mean a fairly small difference in monthly payment. This is unfortunately wrong as well. Listing agents put a bit of research into pricing a home, and often they’re very close to what the home will appraise for. That means if you want to offer over asking price, you should have the cash to back it up. Ask your Realtor for more tips on how to place the winning offer and get into your dream home! If you have any other questions, would like more tips on buying, or need help with anything real estate-related please call or text me anytime!
Stacy Tobin, Realtor
With our ever-changing world, there comes a need to evolve in all aspects of life. 2020 accelerated change in many ways we live our lives on a day-to-day basis. Where we call “home” is one of them and it plays a huge role in these changes.
People often wonder, why are house prices rising so quickly? The simple answer is that inventory is low and demand is high. Although this is a true statement, there are many other factors at play. One of the most impactful is the increasing trend of home food deliveries and online shopping. Companies like Amazon and Waitr have made leaving your home and going to a store to shop for basic goods and items almost irrelevant, and because of this, society has started to invest even more in their homes. Having the convenience of getting almost anything delivered to our doorstep has increased the time Americans are spending at home. “Home” is more important than ever, which is driving more and more people into the housing market. One thing that is constant is change, and this definitely applies to the housing market. Having an experienced, full-time real estate professional to help guide you through these changes when you’re buying or selling is crucial. Please call or text if you would like help or have questions, I am here to help and guide you through this process when you’re ready.
Harim Yanes, Realtor®
Land Sales On The Rise
For a while, land has been hard to sell, but in the last 18 months, there’s been a lot of changes. For one, there’s low inventory, especially in new construction. Also, prices have increased and buyers are exploring their options. If they are not going to get a great deal on a house, then why not buy land and build. Also, smaller builders understand that lumber prices will eventually level out, so they are scooping up vacant lots so they can be prepared to build when the time comes. These conditions have created a high demand for vacant lots and land. So, if you’ve been sitting on land, and paying taxes every year, this may be the right time to put it up for sale.
Ken Harshbarger, Realtor