Over the last couple of years, we've seen record low inventory, significant demand, and low-interest rates, which have created an unprecedented seller's market. While rising rates are expected to cool things off a bit, sellers are still very much in the driver's seat.
However, our real estate agents say buying a home in this market isn't impossible. Buyers just have to adjust their approach. It's also never been more important to have an experienced real estate agent in your corner. An agent is critical for navigating the complexities of today's market and avoiding costly pitfalls. Here's why:
Buying a home is challenging in today's market, but a good agent can help you find success. Contact us today to start exploring local listings.
Saving up for a down payment can be one of the most challenging parts of buying a home, especially for first-time buyers. Here are seven tips our real estate agents recommend to help you save for a down payment on your dream home!
Saving for a down payment may seem daunting, but having a solid plan in place can put your dream house within easier reach than you might think. Ready to start your search? Contact us today.
Do you feel overwhelmed at the idea of tackling home improvement projects? If you're like most homeowners, you can just walk through your home and see so many tasks awaiting your elbow grease. If you're thinking of listing your home among Sarasota homes for sale, you may want to get a handle on prioritizing projects.
One of the first steps is to decide how you want to categorize your repairs and renovations. You might jot down categories such as these, and then under each one, list projects that fall under that heading:
Here are some additional tips for organizing your thoughts and knowing which projects to tackle first.
Would you like to wake up every day and feel like you're on vacation? Then a move to Sarasota may be just what you need. Our real estate agents love welcoming new residents to Sarasota. Even those who have lived in Florida their entire lives are wowed at the beautiful beaches, spectacular shopping, and laid-back lifestyle of this Gulf Coast city. There are dozens of reasons you should move to Sarasota in 2021; here are five of our favorites.
Would you like to call this Southwest Florida gem home? As one of the top-rated places to retire in the United States, now is the perfect time to put down roots in the Sunshine State for the long-term. Contact us today to see our latest listings for Sarasota homes for sale.
Buying a new house can be a long, costly process, and preparing as much as possible will make it easier. You can avoid unexpected expenses and find a place to live that's affordable and comfortable for your family. Here are some tips from our real estate agents to help you budget your way into your first home.
You should make your down payment as large as possible to save on mortgage interest. If you put at least 20 percent down, you can avoid paying for mortgage insurance. This type of insurance protects the lender and guarantees payment for people who choose lower down payments. According to Investopedia, it usually costs about 1 percent of the mortgage balance per year. That would be $1,500 for a $150,000 loan, more than $100 per month. Recent tax cuts eliminated a deduction for mortgage insurance and increased costs further.
Even if saving 20 percent isn't possible for your family, you can reduce costs by making your down payment as large as possible. Also, a larger down payment will give your home immediate equity and help you increase your credit score. That way, you can easily qualify for an additional loan for a new car or fresh decor for your home.
Closing costs usually include fees for:
Our agents can help you negotiate with the seller to reduce these costs as much as possible. We can also assist you with persuading sellers to replace old appliances and take care of repairs before you move in. That way, you can save time and money.
The cost of the mortgage isn't the only thing you need to consider. Other recurring expenses include homeowners insurance, maintenance, and landscaping. The rent for many apartments includes water, sewer, and trash pickup. In most cases, you'll need to pay these fees if you own your own home. Some homeowners' associations (HOAs) include some of these services in their fees, but you may end up paying more than you would in a house without an HOA. You'll also need to pay for property taxes and larger utility bills.
Budgeting for your first home can help you and your family make buying a house and moving less stressful. It can also prevent unexpected expenses. Contact us at Wagner Realty for help with creating a budget for your first home. We can also assist you in finding a place in your price range that meets your needs and help navigate the closing process.
So you have decided it's time for a new home, and are eagerly counting the days until spring to begin the search. But should you really wait that long to get started? While spring is one of the most popular times for buying a house, there are some advantages to making your purchase in the off-season, particularly around the holidays. So, perhaps it is time to talk to our real estate agents about finding your new home. After all, there's no place like a new home for the holidays.
Here are some advantages of making your home purchase over the holiday season:
These are just a few of the potential advantages that can be gained by buying your new home during the holiday season. To hear more about how you can benefit from buying a home in the off-season, please contact Wagner Realty. We're always ready to help you make your best deal on a new home – no matter what time of year you choose to buy.
Decking the halls in your new home for the first time is a cause for celebration. If you've got a first-time home buyer on your holiday gift-giving list, you'll want to spend some extra time choosing the perfect item. Whether you decide to take the sentimental route or opt for something more practical, you'll want to give a memorable gift that they will love for years to come.
Our real estate agents spend plenty of time with first-time home buyers, so we have some insight into the things they need. Here are eight of the best ways for you to help your loved ones turn their new house into a home.
If a new home is on your holiday wish list, you're in luck. Now is the perfect time to start checking out some of the beautiful Sarasota homes for sale. Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get in the way of making your dream a reality. Contact Wagner Realty today to learn how we can help.
Buying a home is often a time filled with both excitement and anxiety, and if you are a family with children, those feelings can be even more intense. With kids, your house hunting strategy will be different than that of a single person or a retired couple. Our REALTORS® in Sarasota understand the ins and outs of the housing market, and we've put together a checklist of things to consider as you prepare to find your family's dream home.
Wagner Realty wants nothing more than to see your family's dream of owning your own home come true. We provide personal, results-oriented service to you from our first meeting to closing day for your perfect home. For more information about Sarasota homes for sale, contact Wagner Realty today.
Buying a home is a huge deal especially for first-time home buyers. Apart from being the single biggest purchase you will ever make, the process itself can be complicated. When you work with one of our real estate agents from Wagner Realty, we will always be on hand to help guide you through the entire process. Below are the key lessons to learn today to help make your home-purchase journey a little less stressful.
Put Aside Your Down Payment Money
It's common for lenders to require you to put down 20 percent as down payment for your new home. Although many lenders allow as little as 3 percent for first-time home buyers, committing anything less than 20 percent will mean higher loan costs and additional private mortgage insurance fees. Save enough money for your home's down payment using several savings schemes such as setting aside work bonuses and tax refunds or having an automatics savings plan.
Explore All Your Down Payment Options
As a first-time home buyer, you have several down payment options available to you if you cannot raise the deposit money. These are:
Check Your Credit
Your credit is a key factor in determining whether or not your home loan is approved. Moreover, it will determine your loan terms and interest rate. Therefore, work to improve your credit score in advance and offset outstanding debts early.
Pick the Right Home
Always consider everything you are looking for in your dream home when shopping around for one. Here:
Budget for Closing Costs
After making an offer and starting the process of closing the deal, you need to account for closing costs that can run from two to five percent of your loan amount. Here, our real estate agents can help you shop around for affordable options to minimize some of your closing expenses such as title searches, home inspections, and homeowners insurance.
Take Your Time
Perhaps one of the hardest lessons on this list, but taking enough time to look for your dream home and shop around for all the services you will require throughout the buying process is essential. Try to minimize your frustrations and manage your emotions because making rush decisions can easily lead to buyer's remorse.
Be Prepared to Compromise
Making a strong offer is not a guarantee that you will close the deal. As issues arise from the home inspection and appraisal processes, be prepared to make compromises with the seller on certain things. However, too many compromises may result in high renovation costs.
Find a Great REALTOR®
When looking for homes for sale in Manatee and Sarasota Counties, it is important to hire the services of a professional buyer's agent to help you through the buying process from your home search through moving day.
Contact Wagner Realty today to get started buying your Flordia dream home.
If buying your first home has been on your mind lately, maybe it's time to escape the rental trap that so many people have fallen into and begin the search for an investment in your future. There are many advantages to being a homeowner, and it might be easier to purchase your perfect home than you think!
Buying your own home is effectively ensuring that you have invested in your own future. Falling into the cycle of putting your hard earned money towards rent may keep a roof over your head, but the only one making a profit is your landlord or rental agency. A well-maintained home will retain and usually build value as time passes, so you are virtually saving for years to come when you make a mortgage payment. A home purchase is a solid way to enhance your long-term net worth and even build your credit. You can't recoup the money you've been spending for rent payments, but you can take the first step today in making a solid investment in your new home.
Many people don't realize that buying a home vs. renting might actually save them money. Rent prices have been on the rise and in many cases, may actually exceed what you would be paying for a monthly mortgage installment. You're likely footing the bill for the rental property insurance and maintenance in your rent payment. If you own your own home, you have the advantage of being able to shop around for the best prices and services for these extras.
As a prospective buyer, you are able to research and ultimately decide on your surroundings. You might be tired of less than thoughtful neighbors surrounding you on all sides, and a nice quiet neighborhood could be just what you're seeking. Want to make improvements or updates to your living space? Often, that's not possible when you're renting. Even getting basic repairs performed sometimes proves to be a hassle if your landlord isn't ideal. Owning your own house gives you the freedom to make your home uniquely yours without the hassle of having to ask permission or haggle over upkeep with a landlord.
If you're ready to break free from the rental trap, contact Wagner Realty and let's discuss your goals as a future homeowner. Our real estate agents are known for their personal and dedicated service to their clients and are waiting to hear from you!
So you've fallen in love with the perfect house. Your dream home is waiting, and now the ball is in your court. Knowing how to make the right impression with the seller is an important element in negotiating an agreeable selling price and ensuring that your prospective new home doesn't slip away and into someone else's hands. Our real estate agents have the experience and know how to help you make an offer that's hard to refuse, and we've put together a few suggestions that could give you the advantage in sealing the deal.
Many home sellers have an emotional attachment to their home and may be a bit reluctant of letting it go to a virtual stranger. If you are ready to make an offer, consider taking the time to write a cover letter to send with it. Of course you'll want to introduce yourself and perhaps give the seller a little bit of personal background, but more importantly, you'll want to let them know why their home is so appealing to you. Giving the seller insight as to why you love their home may just give you the upper hand, especially if there are multiple offers on the table.
An offer is one thing, but documentation that backs up your offer in black and white is almost certain to get the seller's attention. Proof of financing terms from your bank as well as an underwriting approval indicates that you are ready and have the financial resources available to purchase the home.
Asking for seller concessions such as closing costs may put your offer in line behind other buyers who aren't requesting such credits. Furnishings and fixtures are not always included with the home, and no matter how much you fancy them, it might be wiser to wait and purchase comparable items on your own instead of giving the seller a reason to hesitate in considering your offer.
If you are in a position to do so financially, you might give some thought to making an offer over the seller's list price. There's no doubt that an offer that exceeds the seller's expectations will be taken seriously.
Want to let the seller know that you mean business? Here are a few other ideas that might sway the seller to accept your offer:
You know what you're looking for, and now you know some of the best secrets to making a successful offer. Your dream home is out there, and we want to help you find it Contact Wagner Realty today, and let our team of experts show you a world of possibilities!
You may be looking for your dream house, but have you given any thought to your dream neighborhood? The location of your home is at least as important as those four walls and a roof -- perhaps more so. The right neighborhood can offer not only amenities that are important to you, but an investment that will pay off in years to come.
It's easy to browse Sarasota homes for sale, but harder to shop for a neighborhood directly. Without MLS listings for neighborhoods, how should you determine where to look for your dream home? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Identify Your Priorities
Before you even start shopping for a home, you should have a good idea OF what you want in a neighborhood. Sit down and make a list, ranking them in order of priority. If there is something you can't live without, such as good schools for the kids or walking distance to work, school, shopping, or public transit, put that at the very top of the list and mark it off from the rest.
Some of the factors you might consider in your search for a neighborhood are:
Balance Price and Investment with Quality of Life
Financially speaking, the best investments are where you buy in during the beginnings of a period of growth, when a neighborhood is just starting to improve itself and grow in popularity, so that your home's value will accrue quickly. Look for areas that are adjacent to popular neighborhoods that have already gone through that period of growth and improvement. As rising values price out young, new buyers, they'll look to recreate the same experience nearby.
This being said, there's still a balance to achieve between a good investment and quality of life. Look for neighborhoods that offer the opportunity for rising values, but also those qualities you ranked as most important. This might mean that the best investments don't make the most sense for you and your family, but that's okay!
Start Your Research Online
The Internet is good for more than just browsing Bradenton homes for sale at 1am. As you browse, make a list of the neighborhoods you see in the listings, and then use Google, municipal websites, and a variety of other online tools to:
Visit the Neighborhood
If your preliminary research online checks out, it's time to go to the neighborhood and check things out.
Ask Your Agent
Don't forget about one of the most important resources at your disposal: your real estate agent. Our REALTORS® are knowledgeable about the neighborhoods they cover and can help you more easily navigate the process of finding the right neighborhood for you and your family. Contact Wagner Realty today to consult with one of our experienced agents about your search.
Finding the right first home is much like finding the right life partner. Will it be love at first sight or a determined search? Are you looking for a fixer-upper to call your forever home--to have and to hold, to shape and to mold? It's a serious endeavor often fraught with pitfalls. First, you'll need a map and a good compass. Yes! A map of Sarasota homes for sale and a seasoned guide from our REALTORS® to point you in the right direction with these five tips for buying your first home.
1. Love Nest Wish List
Your love nest wish list is a compilation, using pen and paper, of all the things you are looking for in your first home. This is important. Don't wing it. Certainly, compiling a list of "things" is a rather broad task. Shorten it. Define what "things" means to you and your spouse. However, for the sake of buying your first home in Sarasota, the term "things" refers to quality, not quantity--what you need now with room to grow.
2. Budget For Today, Tomorrow and # Years
Don't fudge the math or misplace a decimal point--it's number-crunching time. Yippee! Don't fret. You have a good plan in place, and you know where you're going. You have dreams. Absolutely! You also have a budget to map out for today, tomorrow and # years in order to make your dreams a reality.
3. Pre-Approved Mortgage
Not that long ago, you simply found the home you wanted, submitted an offer and went to the bank for financing. It is now customary to secure a pre-approved mortgage before a seller or agent will show you a home. However, you are not bound by the letter. Once you find the perfect home in Sarasota, shop different financial institutions for the best interest rate available to you.
4. Home Inspections
The last thing you want is to move into a beautiful first home only to discover problems with essential systems. Are there signs of roof leaks, uneven room temperatures, plumbing issues and/or electrical problems?
Don't be shocked after the fact if you come across system problems regardless of a home's age. Moreover, make sure a home inspection includes the age of HVAC systems and the roof--two major expenses should they need replacing.
5. Hiring A Real Estate Agent
As newlywed first-time home buyers, work with a real estate agent familiar with the communities that interest you. Our REALTORS® know the subtleties of Sarasota markets and will craft a realistic offer on your dream home substantiated with comparable statistics. We do the footwork and guide you through the entire home-buying process.
From your love nest wish list to closing, speak to a real estate agent with extensive experience in Sarasota homes for sale by contacting Wagner Realty.
2017 has been a busy year for home buyers and 2018 seems like it will be booming too.
While some people will shy away from getting involved in such a busy housing market, first-time buyers should be excited! First-time buyers have some major home-buying advantages. There are many state, county and municipal assistance programs available for first-time home buyers. In addition, time is also on the side of the first-time buyer. Since you don't have to worry about selling an existing home before you move, you can gather information and take action on your terms.
Let's focus on the top ten things you can do to get off to the right start.
Contact Wagner Realty for expert help to get the search for your first home started.
Buying your first home is an important life milestone. The process requires your patience, dedication, and financial commitment. You must think differently and consider factors that may not have been important before now.
The good news is that our REALTORS® know what it takes to find a home that's right for your family. When it's time to search for your new home, we'll help you through the process. Our Real Estate Guide for Buying Your First Home provides a to-do list to help you prepare for your home buying experience.
You should stop spending and start saving long before you begin touring homes for sale. You'll need the money when you close on your home and cash to cover a wave of home-related expenses.
If you have no idea about the kind of home you want, look at home listings, attend open houses, and drive by homes for sale. Even if you're not quite ready to buy, you can get an idea of communities, home prices, amenities, and how much you're willing to pay for what's available.
If you have children or plan to someday, you must make sure you're in a thriving school district. Visit a non-profit school rating website like Greatschools.org to see community school ratings.
The FHA Mortgage Calculator and similar online apps and websites make it easy to calculate monthly mortgage costs. You input the mortgage amount, down payment, terms, rates, and other factors and the calculator shows you the monthly payment and income you need to afford it.
You can pay the three major credit bureaus for a copy of your credit reports, but you can access them for free at Annualcreditreport.com. Viewing your reports allows you to uncover problems that may make it difficult to get your home financed. You can eliminate inaccurate information and contact debtors to correct, resolve, or dispute problematic credit entries.
When you find the home of your dreams, your pre-approval letter will save some delays. Your mortgage company will review your debt, credit rating, and financial standing to determine if you're mortgage-worthy. When they issue an approval letter, it tells potential home sellers that you're ready to buy.
If you're ready to buy your first Gulf Coast of Florida home, you need a realtor to provide professional guidance. Contact Wagner Realty if you're buying or selling a home, or simply want information about the communities we serve.