Real Estate & Community News

Jan. 15, 2019

Free Tickets to the Northwest Remodeling Expo This Weekend

 

The Northwest Remodeling Expo is happening this weekend!

If you would like 2 complimentary admission tickets, email us at info@bethghomes.com or call 206-462-4444

For more information, including hours, vendor list, and special features, click here

Posted in Community News
Jan. 8, 2019

Want to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home? Use These 2 Tips!

 

Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Want to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home? Use These 2 Tips! | Simplifying The Market

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

HGTV gives this advice:

First impressions are everything when selling your home. Studies have shown that the first two weeks on the market are the most crucial to your success. During these initial days, your home will be exposed to all active buyers.

If your price is perceived as too high, you will quickly lose this initial audience and find yourself relying only on the trickle of new buyers entering the market each day. Markets are dynamic, and your price has an expiration date. You have one chance to grab attention. Make sure your pricing helps you stand out on the shelf — in a positive way.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may believe that he or she will make more money without having to pay a real estate commission, but studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research by the National Association of Realtors in their 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that,

“the median selling price for all FSBO homes was $200,000 last year. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $264,900 – nearly $65,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the money you get for your house.

 

https://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2019/01/07/want-to-get-the-most-money-from-the-sale-of-your-home-use-these-2-tips/?a=303101-65d0f41433fd243415496072f5d78a46

Posted in Selling Your Home
Jan. 3, 2019

Gary Rudd has joined the Beth G Homes team!

We’re happy to announce that Gary Rudd has joined the Beth G Homes team! He brings a wealth of Real Estate knowledge and experience with him to give clients the best service possible. We appreciate our clients and friends, and look forward to helping you in this new year!

Posted in Beth G Homes News
Dec. 21, 2018

Happy Holidays

Posted in Beth G Homes News
Dec. 18, 2018

7 Items to Check Before the Big Freeze

 

Along with the provocative spending and lavish feasts that are hallmarks of the holiday season also comes the cold, the ice and the snow. Like those extra three helpings of stuffing at Aunt Linda’s have just derailed your diet, the coming weather is capable of causing significant damage (and swelling) to your home if you aren’t prepared.

Winterizing means a lot of different things to people in different locations. For example, in New Jersey, you really need to go full bore and ensure anything that might be holding water is emptied, heated or insulated. In Texas, though, you might not even realize winter has come. With that in mind, take a long look at these seven things and check them all before the first freeze comes (or do it right now if it’s already freezing!)

 

The Big Seven Winter-Ready Checkboxes

Winter comes with a myriad of hazards, from black ice and deep snow to blowing winds in the negative digits. Please make sure that you’re wearing proper winter weather gear before you attempt to get your house ready for the cold. After all, you’re not going to be able to get through the list if you freeze to the ground.

 

#1. Protect Plants, Trim Trees and Empty Sprinklers

Even if your plants are hearty as they can be, it’s nice for them to have a fresh pile of mulch to hunker down in during the cold season. Apply two to four inches of an organic mulch over the roots and at the base of any plants that are still above ground, then pull it slightly away from the plants themselves so there’s a little moat in between. Herbaceous plants that die back and the pop up in the spring should be covered with just as much mulch to keep them from freezing.

While you’re out there, trim any overhanging branches from your trees so that accumulating ice and strong winds won’t bring them down onto your house, car or garage. If you have a sprinkler system and haven’t emptied it yet, now is the time to disconnect the water and blow it out according to your system’s design.

 

#2. Check Your Gutters (Again).

When the autumn leaves finished falling, you cleaned your gutters out (you did, right?), but as really frigid weather settles in, you need to check them one last time. Gutters are one of the big causes of ice dams, which can cause water to back up into your attic. This is all bad stuff if it happens over and over, so to be safe, check those gutters again and clean out anything you missed or that has accumulated since your last round of cleaning.

 

#3. Cover Your Outside Faucets

Pop into the nearest home improvement store and grab a styrofoam cover for each of your outdoor faucets, even if they’re frost free. You should have already removed any hoses as soon as the nighttime temperatures started to dip, so now it’s just a matter of putting a little hat on them. Some people wrap their faucets with pipe insulation, but for the long run, the styrofoam caps can’t be beat. They’re easy to install, hold tight all winter and are easy to store until the next year.

 

#4. Wrap Your Pipes

Homes with crawl spaces are especially susceptible to frozen pipes during the winter. First, make sure your foundation vents are closed to keep cold wind from blowing into the space, then get a little more hands on with the pipes. Anything on an outside wall should be wrapped with pipe insulation (the more popular types look like small diameter pool noodles), pipes with chronic freezing problems should have heat tape installed. Frozen pipes are no fun for you from a convenience angle, but when they go a bit further and burst it’s kind of a big deal.

 

#5. Caulk and Weatherstrip Doors and Windows

Go around your windows and doors with a caulk knife and remove any caulk that’s loose or dried up, then grab the caulk gun and go like mad, making sure to push the new caulk into the opening as you dispense it. You should angle the tip so you can move across a section of trim with a single motion to create an uninterrupted bead.

This is also the right time to check your weatherstripping. Whether it’s between a door and the jamb or helping the windows to seal properly, these are major entry points for cold air and drafty drafts. When you’re replacing weatherstripping, take a sample of the type you need with you to the hardware store because the options are pretty impressive.

 

#6. Have You Had That Chimney Checked?

Some websites will advocate for you to check your own chimney before using it in the fall or winter, but that’s not the kind of advice to give to a person. Sure, you can do your own chimney inspection. You can also do your own root canals, but it’s really a bad idea. A quick check by a chimney sweep is an affordable alternative to a chimney fire. The thing is that what you can see from the hearth isn’t much, a lot of chimney fires start further up — you might not even know you’ve had one.

If you have a wood stove with a double or triple walled flue, you may have better access to the entire length of the chimney, but don’t ever take a chance on anything that burns as hot as a wood stove or fireplace. This is one item in your house that can have disastrous results if you don’t treat it with respect.

 

#7. Your Second Home

If you own another house, even if it’s in a warmer climate, this is a good time to give it a lot of thought. It’s going to need similar care — location appropriate, of course. Winterizing the plumbing in a house is a DIY trick you can pull yourself, or you can hire it done and know that you didn’t forget to do something important. When DIYing, make sure to test all the shut-off valves as you go. This is a good time to replace them since you’ll also be turning the water off at the main.

 

Winter is Coming….

It doesn’t matter if you’re not ready for winter, it’s coming anyway. So this weekend, get out there and prep your property for the cold, sharp winds, sheets of ice that seem to come out of nowhere and all the snow. Then again, you can also call a home pro or two in to help out with your winter laundry list — just log into HomeKeepr and you’ll find chimney sweeps, plumbers, landscapers and plenty of other experts ready and willing to help. Your Realtor recommended them just for you, so you know they have to be good!

 

 

https://blog.homekeepr.com/7-items-to-check-before-the-big-freeze?sharedby=beth-grotelueschen

 

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Dec. 14, 2018

Seattle Condo Just Sold!

Congratulations to our Seller!

Posted in Our Listings
Dec. 12, 2018

What If I Wait A Year to Buy a Home?

 

National home prices have increased by 5.4% since this time last year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained near historic lows which has allowed many buyers to enter the market and lock in low rates.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Insights Reporthome prices will appreciate by 4.8% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 4.8% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What If I Wait Until 2019 To Buy A Home? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 4, 2018

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. Their latest survey data covers responses from 2013-2016.

The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner was $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).

These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.

There are many who see that statistic and point toward how broad the range of respondents are for the Federal Reserve survey. Their study includes all economic and social groups and also includes all age groups. The argument is that older respondents have a higher likelihood of being homeowners, while the homeownership rate among younger survey takers is much lower.

Recently, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University focused on homeowners and renters over the age of 65. Their study revealed that the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters at this age group was actually 47.5 times greater!

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Homeowners over the age of 65 are much more financially prepared for retirement and often own their homes outright if they were fortunate enough to purchase their homes before the age of 36. Their 30 years of mortgage payments have paid off as they gained equity through their monthly payments and as home values appreciated.

It is no surprise that lifelong-renters have had a hard time accruing net worth as the latest Censusreport shows that the Median Asking Rent has been climbing consistently over the last 30 years.

Homeowners Aged 65+ Have 48x More Net Worth Than Renters | MyKCM

Bottom Line

As a homeowner you put your monthly mortgage payment to work for you, building your net worth with every payment.

Posted in Homeownership Tips
Nov. 30, 2018

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again

 

Home sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of price appreciation has slowed to more historically normal averages, and inventory is finally increasing. We are headed into a more normal housing market.

However, some are seeing these adjustments as red flags and are suggesting that we are headed back to the same challenges we experienced in 2008. Today, let’s look at one set of statistics that prove the current market is nothing like the one that preceded the housing crash last decade.

The previous bubble was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. New purchasers were putting down the minimum down payment, resulting in them having little if any equity in their homes.

Existing homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home) so they walked away which caused prices to fall even further. When this happened, even more homeowners found themselves in negative equity situations which caused them to walk away as well, and so a vicious cycle formed.

Today, the equity situation is totally different. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutionsmore than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:

“…nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value…The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.”

In addition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30.3% of homes in the country have no mortgageon them.

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again | Simplifying The Market

Almost 50% of all homes have at least 50% equity.

If we take both numbers, the 30.3% of all homes without a mortgage and the 17.9% with at least 50% equity (25.7% of the 69.3% of homes with a mortgage), we realize that 48.2% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity.

Bottom Line

Unlike 2008, almost half of the homeowners in the country are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften.

Posted in Real Estate News
Nov. 16, 2018

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying a Home

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a tough decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (28.4%) vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (17.5%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you can put your housing costs to work by buying this year!
Posted in Buying a Home