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Why HUD Homes Are Hidden Gems in Our Market

HUD homes are a great option for buyers. Here’s why.

I know, I sound like a broken record talking about HUD homes. You’re probably sick of me talking about them, but listen. The reason I’m continuing to discuss these homes is because I want to get some of you off the fence by seeing the incredible value here.

Just this morning, a three bedroom, one bathroom home came on the market in Wallingford. It’s a 3-bedroom, one-bathroom, and a one-car garage home on a half-acre lot. This home is currently listed for sale at $149,000. It’s available to owner-occupants first, meaning that if you plan on living in the property, you get the first shot at it.

Here’s the other great news about this HUD home in particular. It’s marked as insurable. That means is that HUD will sell this property to someone who is going for an FHA mortgage and insure it for only a 3.5% down payment.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you would have to be crazy not to consider jumping on these homes. Yes, they might need a paint job or new flooring, but the bones are all there. If an HUD home is marked as insurable, that means the electric, plumbing, and furnace all work, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them, unless you find something different at your inspection.

An insured HUD home is ideal.

Another great thing about HUD homes is that you can inspect them. A lot of people think they can’t, but they’re wrong. It’s true that you do have to buy these properties as-is, but an inspection can be a very useful tool in deciding whether you’re making the right decision. If you have an inspection done and find something wrong with the home you didn’t know about before, you have two options. You can either make the decision to go through with the purchase or you can back out of the deal, get your deposit back, and go buy something else.

I’m oversimplifying the process, but the truth is that it is simple for me because I’ve sold and purchased so many of them. I’ve sold and bid on hundreds of HUD homes. If you have any questions about them whatsoever or would like more details about what the process is like, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Latest Trends in Our Local Real Estate Market

How is the market doing in Wallingford and New Haven County? This January has been the busiest start to a new year that we’ve seen in awhile, and it looks like the spring market will be extremely busy, too. 

Here is your market update for Wallingford and New Haven County:

The median list price is at $299,900. That is the median list price, not the median sales price. Inventory has been tightening and days on market are decreasing, which is great news for sellers.

Personally, I’ve noticed that January of 2017 has been the busiest start to a new year that we’ve seen in three years. If that’s any indication of how the spring market is going to be, things are looking good.

It looks like the spring market will be an extremely busy one!

If you are looking to upgrade from your first home, now is one of the best times to do so. You will get the most house for your money because of these low interest rates. Rates are expected to rise as the year goes on, so the sooner you can buy, the better. Remember, as interest rates go up, your buying power goes down. 

One of the other things I want to point out is the market action index. The market action index tells us how the market is doing by measuring what’s for sale versus what’s actually selling. Anything 30 or below means that the buyer has an advantage in the market, while anything over 30 means that sellers have the advantage. Right now, the market action index is at 29.1, so the market is fairly balanced. However, that number is heading upwards, which is good news for sellers.

If you have any other questions about the marketplace or about selling your home, give us a call or send us an email. My team and I would be happy to help you!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! 

 It’s the start of a new year, and I wanted to give you an important real estate tip. The spring market starts now! Even if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market in May or June, you should be speaking with a real estate professional now, to come up with a game-plan. 

If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, please contact us for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to set up an appointment with you to go over the value of your home, and our marketing plans.

Holiday Greetings from Carbutti & Company

As the year winds down, I wanted to send you a special message. Thanks for your support this year.

I just wanted to take a moment to stop by and wish everyone happy holidays and a happy New Year.

2016 was a record-breaking year here at Carbutti & Company, and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported us and tell you how grateful I am that you chose us to help you with your real estate needs. 

I am looking forward to seeing each and every one of you in 2017. God bless, have a great holiday, and I look forward to talking to you next year. If you have any questions or any real estate needs in the meantime, give me a call or send me an email. We’re always here to help.

What Renovation Loans Are Available?

Home renovation loans are great for homeowners and investors alike. You can make your home look just the way you want it with any of these products. 

There is a lot of confusion surrounding renovation loans. Can you really borrow money to fix up your home and make it exactly the way you want it to be?

The answer is yes. There are some really great renovation loan products in the marketplace right now. For example, the FHA 203k renovation loan is a federally insured mortgage that allows you to use just 3.5% of your own money. You can also build in the cost of the rehab right into the loan.

There are some great renovation loan products in the marketplace right now.

Another renovation loan you might not have heard of is the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage. This program is for owner-occupants who want to fix up the home and live there.

If you are an investor, there is also a great product out there for you. You can use just 15% of your own money for the whole renovation, flip the house, and then resell for a profit.

We use a great company called Prospect Mortgage, one of the largest renovation loan providers in the country. We would be happy to refer you to them.

In fact, Carbutti & Co. Realtors will be teaming up with Prospect Mortgage to provide an informative seminar for people looking to buy a home. This seminar will help potential home buyers understand some of the in's and out's of the home buying process that you might not be aware of if you have never gone through this complex process. Click here to register for that seminar on Tuesday, December 6th from 6:00pm-9:00pm. 

If you want to find out more about these renovation loans, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you out!

How Do Professional Home Staging Companies Work?

Jennifer Napolitano with Design House Interiors stops by today to discuss the benefits of home staging and offer a few tips to home sellers.

We recently took a vacant home and had it professionally staged before it hit the market. Today, I wanted to introduce you to Jennifer Napolitano with Design House Interiors, the company that staged the property. 

Jennifer is a certified home stager. She knows that selling a home can sometimes be very daunting. When people come into your home, they might not know where to put their furniture or how it’s going to look, which makes things very stressful for the buyers as well. Certain layouts and rooms can be difficult to stage, but home stagers are here to help you figure it out. 

For example, keep in mind that scale is very important. You need the right-sized pieces in each room so that the rooms appear bigger and functional. Having the right furniture in each space also shows buyers the traffic patterns in the home. 

When you work with Design House Interiors, you also get the benefit of working with professional interior designers. Jennifer and her team can help you make your home look great by choosing fresh, trendy pieces to make your home pop. Your home will be showroom-ready when it hits the real estate market. 

This particular house had an island in the kitchen, and it is a nice-looking piece of furniture that stands out. When you are working with the bedrooms, it can be difficult to figure out where to put the bed because the bed is the focal point of the room. It needs to make a statement and look beautiful. 

For this house, Jennifer and her team decided to put the bed a little off-center on the wall. It’s a great focal point and the buyer can still see that there is plenty of room to add a dresser and still walk around the space. 

They also created an easy flow in the dining room by using a circular dining room table. As you can see in the video above, home staging is an absolute must to help buyers figure out how they can best utilize the space for their family. 

Your home will be showroom-ready when it hits the market.

This home sold three days after it hit the market, so I want to say a huge thank you to Design House Interiors. If you need to stage your home or if you have any questions about interior design, visit their website at designhousect.com or visit their showroom at 6 North Main Street in Wallingford. 

As always, if you have any real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I would be happy to help you!

Debunking Common Myths of the Home Buying Process

There are many great New Haven County area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation so you know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market. You may also call me at (203) 269-4910 x 12 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Today, Dave Beckman of Guaranteed Rate joins us to discuss the latest from the mortgage lending side of real estate, especially as it relates to first-time home buyers. 

One of the most crucial things you can do as a buyer is get pre-approved before beginning the home search process. This will allow you to set yourself apart from anyone else who might be putting in an offer on a home. A letter of pre-approval is the holy grail that shows the seller that you’ve talked to a lender, submitted all of your documents, and that you’re a willing and able buyer. 

Having a pre-approval letter will set you ahead of the competition. It shows that you have spoken with a lender and that they have qualified you. A pre-approval is a letter that says that a lender has analyzed your income, assets, and job history, among other things, whereas a pre-qualification simply says you might be eligible to get a loan down the road. If you have a pre-approval and your competition only has a pre-qualification, you stand the greatest chance of getting your offer accepted. 

There are many ways to mitigate the costs of purchasing a home if you know what you’re doing.

There are some misconceptions out there among buyers that they need to put 20% down before they can purchase a home. Luckily, that is not the case; there are many options available to people who can’t afford to save 20% of the mortgage to put down. There are also misconceptions about mortgage insurance, but there are ways to mitigate those costs as well. Mortgage insurance is not as expensive as it’s made out to be, and if you can’t afford to put 20% down, it is a very affordable way to get into a home. 

There are special government programs out there with the purpose of helping the consumer to buy a home with a smaller down payment. The VA loan, for instance, which is available for past and active members of the US military, allows people to get into a home with 0% down. The scrutiny on these loans are a bit greater, but if you work with a mortgage banker, as opposed to a bank directly, you will be in the right hands. 

Another issue many first-time buyers deal with is the cost of closing. A lender can give a credit, in addition to the mortgage, that can help offset the closing costs. This is a great way to keep more money in your pockets as a borrower. 

If you have any questions about how Dave can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out to him at (203) 641-8287 or DBeckman@GuaranteedRate.com. Or, if you want to apply for a mortgage now, visit www.GuaranteedRate.com/DaveBeckman and fill out the application. 

Of course, if you have questions about this or any other real estate topic, or if you have suggestions for a future video, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Carbutti & Co. Realtors. We always love to hear from you!