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Monday, January 15, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

2017 Market Recap and 2018 Real Estate Predictions

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How did the real estate market do in 2017, and what can you expect from the 2018 market?

Let’s take a look at supply, demand, and appreciation.

Economics 101 dictates that price is simply a function of supply and demand. If we look at supply in 2017, there were basically no homes available for sale. There was limited supply under $500,000, but under the $200,000 market, housing inventory basically did not exist.

At the start of 2018, we already had a 12% dip in supply. Buyers need to be prepared because it will be very difficult to find a home in 2018. In fact, it may be even more difficult than it was last year.

Demand was very stable in 2017, and I expect that will continue in 2018.

Loan limits have been increased on FHA and conventional loans, which does give buyers some more power as far as the amount of money they can qualify for. Those new loan limits could i ...

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018   /   by Bret Johnson

What 3 Questions Should First-Time Homebuyers Ask When Making an Offer?

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What kind of questions should you ask as a first-time homebuyer when making an offer on a home?

There are three general questions you want to ask, and each one relates to an important aspect of the home:

1. What have comparable sales in the neighborhood or surrounding area sold for?

When it comes to making an offer, most first-time buyers look at the wrong things. They ask me things like “What did the seller pay for the home?” and “How much do they owe?”

While things like this might contribute a little bit to the property, asking what comparable sales have sold for will help you understand what the price may be when it comes to an appraisal and have more weight as far as what kind of offer the seller will take.

2. What condition is the home in?

This question relates to the condition of the home, including the roof, major electrical or plumbing sy ...

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017   /   by Bret Johnson

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Upsizing Your Home

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I have a special report on my website entitled “6 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving Up to a Larger Home.” Today, we’re going to take a look at those six mistakes in order to give you a better understanding about upsizing.

1. Looking at what you can’t afford. The old adage says, “Champagne taste, beer budget.” Understand that the sale is going to take a little bit of time; you need to know what you’re going to net, and then feel comfortable with the payments on that new home. It’s very stressful to fall in love with something that’s a little above your budget and strive to find a way to buy that when you don’t have enough equity.
2. Failing to make necessary home improvements. There are simple things to do (and many times, things not to do) that maximize the value of your home and help you sell it fast. Taking the time to address t ...

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017   /   by Bret Johnson

5 Tips for Homebuyers in 2018

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What do you need to do now in order to get the best deal when buying a home in 2018? I have five tips for you today.

1. Check your credit score now. It’s important to know your FICO score. Any change in your score can mean thousands of additional dollars in interest or payments over the years. FICO scores run from 300 to 850, so knowing where you’re at will definitely help you prepare for the mortgage application.

2. Do not open new credit cards. I know that it’s super tempting to sign up for a retail card during the holiday season to take advantage of that 15% to 20% off. The issue is that the new trade line will affect you in the mortgage application process and hurt your purchase power down the road.

3. Interview potential real estate agents. Everyone knows a Realtor, whether it’s a family member or friend. Typically, the stress of buying a home can re ...

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Wednesday, November 08, 2017   /   by Bret Johnson

Staging: Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

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Buying a home? Search all homes for sale

Today’s topic is in response to an email from past clients, John and Nancy. I’m going to answer the question, “What do you do to get your home sold for the most money when it comes to staging?”

With that, here are the top five tips I have:

1. Reduce all clutter. There are so many items when you live in a home that just become a part of your day-to-day life—things on your countertops, in the corners of your bedroom, under the bed, etc. Get all of that stuff out of there. Buyers need to have a feel of the house and be able to think of it as their own, without the distraction of your personal items.
2. Use neutral colors. This includes furniture as well. Things that detract from the property only stand to hurt you when it comes to selling.
3. Scrub, clean, and deodorize. There’s nothing worse than when you enter a house and you detect an odor, especi ...

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