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GRI, MS
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Articles Tagged "REAL ESTATE MARKET"

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November
29

Real Estate Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Real Estate MythsWhen you're buying a home, you're subjected to a variety of tips and recommendations from your friends and family. Unfortunately, our real estate agents know that much of the real estate tidbits floating around are myths.

Prospective homeowners believe these myths, potentially interfering with their dreams of homeownership. Here are a few common real estate myths we want to debunk.

  • Myth 1: You Can't Buy a Home Unless You Have a Ton of Cash
    This myth is usually offered by well-intentioned individuals, but it simply isn't true. It can also delay your dreams of homeownership because you mistakenly believe you need to spend as little money as possible so that you can save a lot of cash. With an FHA mortgage, you can purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the home's purchase price. Even conventional mortgages offer a down payment as low as 5 percent of the home's price, also, if you are a veteran, you may be eligible for a 100% home mortgage!
  • Myth 2: Your First Move is to Find a Home You Love
    Before you start browsing Bradenton homes for sale, work with a lender to get pre-approved for a home mortgage. Your lender will request information about your income and assets, along with your credit history, to determine how much you can borrow. You don't want to find a home that checks off everything on your wishlist, only to learn that it costs more than your lender will approve you for. Most sellers also prefer homebuyers who have proof that they're pre-approved for a mortgage (especially in a competitive market). 
  • Myth 3: You Can't Buy a Home Unless Your Credit is Perfect
    It's possible to purchase a home even if your credit is less than perfect. There are mortgages specifically designed for individuals who have some deficiencies in their credit histories. While you can still buy a home with mediocre credit, it's best to improve your credit as much as possible before applying for a mortgage. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate. This can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. 
  • Myth 4: A Lender Won't Approve a Mortgage That You Can't Afford
    When deciding how much to potentially loan you, your lender uses lending guidelines concerning how much debt a borrower should have. For example, conventional wisdom states that your home expenses (including your mortgage, taxes, and insurance) shouldn't exceed 36 percent of your gross income. All your debt payments, including your mortgage, shouldn't be more than 43 percent of your gross income. However, this guideline doesn't consider your other expenses and your individual goals. If you spend a lot on travel, school tuition, daycare, or an expensive hobby, this will impact the mortgage amount that you can comfortably pay. Don't assume that a lender understands your entire financial situation. Instead, look at your budget and spending habits to get a more accurate idea of an affordable mortgage payment. 
  • Myth 5: You Really Don't Need a Real Estate Agent
    Before you start looking at Sarasota homes for sale, find a real estate agent to help you find your ideal home. Real estate agents have access to more available homes than the general public. They also have extensive knowledge of the buying process and can help salvage a deal if problems arise. A great real estate agent can save you a lot of time and money when you're buying a home. 

Ready to start searching for your next home? Contact us today!

August
23

Tips for Picking A Real Estate Agent During a Hot Market

Real Estate Market

It's a hot market, and you're looking to buy or sell a home among Sarasota homes for sale or Bradenton homes for sale. While an agent can help you in any type of real estate market, their help is especially critical during a hot market. Here's why.

Why Hire an Agent?

Yes, your home might just fly off the market with a Craigslist ad or the like, but what if it doesn't? With an agent, your home will get considerably more exposure in MLS (multiple listing service) databases created and maintained by real estate professionals to help homeowners like you sell their property. It just makes sense that the more potential buyers see your property, the greater the chance that the selling price could go much higher than your expectations. You could have buyers competing with one another, and that could only benefit you.

Your agent will be there throughout the whole process and able to offer advice for any aspect of the sale, from determining a price to staging your home to determining the scope of repairs you want to do before you put the home on the market. 

But an even better reason to hire a real estate agent is that many potential buyers are not comfortable talking to the owner of a property and prefer to deal with an agent. Not only can you -- and should you -- make yourself scarce while the agent shows your home, but you'll boost the comfort level of potential buyers, who may feel they are visiting you, as the owner of the home, rather than seriously looking at a home they want to live in.

What to Look for in an Agent

As you begin to look for a real estate agent, you will likely focus on an individual's experience in selling houses like yours in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors for recommendations. Get at least three referrals. And remember, while experience is important, so is personality. Can you relate to this person? Does he or she seem real to you? Look for an agent you can build a rapport with, in addition to their sales and successes.

Pay attention to the agent's marketing tools, including website, business card, brochures, signage, social media efforts, and more. Does the agent's personal appearance give you confidence in them, or is something lacking? 

When you discuss the sale of your home with a real estate agent, you want someone who can guide you through what can be a precarious journey. Can your agent answer questions reliably and with real data about investment analysis, neighborhood-level market performance, and possibly even the impact of your decision to sell? You don't want an agent who honey coats their answers; you need real information about possible pitfalls, so listen carefully to how your agent replies to your questions and make sure the agent is really hearing you.

Our real estate agents can give you solid advice on how to hire the right professional to help you sell your home. Contact us today. 

June
7

Terms to Know When Looking at Gated Communities

Gated Community Terms

Gated communities offer various advantages that many residents find appealing, but the gated community lifestyle isn't necessarily a perfect fit for every buyer. If you've been shopping for homes and thinking about purchasing a home in a gated community, then it's important to understand exactly what to expect from your neighborhood. Our real estate agents are here to help you make an informed decision, with our guide to terms you need to know when considering a gated community.

  1. Homeowner's Association (HOA)
    When you live in a gated community, the homeowner's association (HOA) is the organization that makes rules, enforces them, and ensures that the community is properly maintained. Each HOA is typically made up of members of the community, including an elected board of governors who are responsible for enforcing HOA regulations. Often, in addition, there may be a Management Company to oversee properties. The rules created by an HOA can be restrictive in terms of the architecture of homes, home maintenance, and the ways in which you're allowed to modify your property. However, those rules also play an important role in keeping the neighborhood looking great, keeping home values high, and making sure that everything from streets to landscaping are well-maintained.

  2. HOA Fees
    When you purchase a home in a gated community, you will be required to join that community's HOA. Joining an HOA means paying HOA fees, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. While the details vary depending on the community, HOA fees typically cover a wide range of service related to security, as well as maintaining your property and the community as a whole. In addition to maintenance, HOA fees often cover community amenities like pools, recreation areas, parking, and landscaping that help keep the community beautiful. If you're considering a home in a gated community, make sure you research exactly how much HOA fees will cost and what those fees will cover, and when they are paid.

  3. CDD Fees
    An alternative to HOAs, some communities have Community Development District (CDD) fees. These fees go toward paying for infrastructure and amenities within the community. Unlike HOA fees, CDD fees are paid as part of your local property tax, and CDD payments are tax-deductible. The cost of community improvements are put into a bond, and part of CDD payments go toward paying that bond off over time. Communities with CDD fees may have HOA's and HOA fees.

  4. Condominium Fees
    If you choose to live in a condominium community, then you can expect to pay condo fees. Just like with the other types of fees we have mentioned, condo fees go toward maintaining the condominium complex and covering the cost of any amenities offered by the complex. These fees can vary significantly based on the community and the size of your condo, so be sure to research them carefully. Some condominiums also have HOA and/or CDD fees.

  5. Recreation Fees
    Recreation fees can cover a wide range of amenities, activities, and services, with the exact details depending on the rules of each community. All members of the community pay the recreation fee, whether they use a specific amenity or not. The good news is that if your community requires recreation fees, then you may in most cases be able to use all of those amenities without any additional charge beyond the fee.

Whether you're shopping for Bradenton homes for sale in a gated community or a more traditional neighborhood, our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Southwest Florida communities.

February
8

Top Reasons Why You Should Use a REALTOR When Purchasing New Construction

New Construction

If you want the option to select the finishes in your home or if you prefer a brand-new space, our real estate agents know a new construction home is an excellent option. When purchasing a new construction home, you may be tempted to forgo using a REALTOR®. Here are a few reasons to use a REALTOR® when purchasing a new construction home. 

  1. A REALTOR®Has Your Interests in Mind
    When purchasing a new construction property, you'll encounter individuals who represent other parties (like a builder rep) who will offer to handle the details of the sale for you. While these individuals are capable, you should remember that they are already obligated to represent the best interests of someone else. A REALTOR® will focus only on your best interests. 
  1. Your REALTOR® Will Help You During the Negotiation Process
    Like any home purchase, you want to procure the best terms when you're purchasing new construction. Even though the builder might act like the terms are final, there are likely some details that are up for negotiation. Your REALTOR® will recognize these details and help you procure the best terms possible. Maybe the builder is firm on their price; your REALTOR® might suggest negotiating for upgraded finishes or adding extra items (such as appliances or blinds).
  1. A REALTOR® Knows What Builders are Reputable
    Most people only buy a few homes during their lifetimes. A REALTOR® handles thousands of real estate transactions. As you browse Bradenton homes for sale, your REALTOR® will advise you as to which home builders are known for doing quality work. 
  1. Your REALTOR® Can Provide Helpful Recommendations 
    Throughout the homebuying process, you'll find yourself searching for professionals to assist with your purchase. Before you start looking at Sarasota homes for sale, you'll want to get preapproved for a mortgage so that you know what you can afford to borrow. While your builder may suggest a mortgage, your REALTOR® can suggest lenders that they know are buyer-friendly. Once you're ready to commit to a new construction, you'll want to ensure that the finished product is sound. Your REALTOR® can recommend a home inspector to make sure your new home is ready for you to occupy. You'll appreciate having a knowledgeable resource throughout the process.
  1. A REALTOR® is Familiar with the Neighborhood
    When buying a home, it's important to find a property in a neighborhood that's right for your lifestyle. It's hard to get an accurate feel for a neighborhood during a short visit. A REALTOR® is a valuable source of information for the neighborhood's true environment. They know which neighborhoods are good for families and which areas are better for individuals who value their privacy. 

Ready to start exploring new construction? Contact us to get started!

January
18

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Kitchen Appliances?

Kitchen Upgrades Sarasota

If your kitchen is beginning to look a bit outdated or things just aren't working as well as they used to, you might be wondering if it's time to upgrade your appliances. Our real estate agents usually recommend replacing your appliances before they break, as replacing items one by one can result in mismatched appliances. The last thing you want is a set of appliances that differ by color, age, or style appliances especially if you're planning to sell your home. Mismatched appliances can really give your kitchen a cluttered look.

Figuring out the best time to replace your kitchen appliances is the key to maximizing the longevity of your products and also maintaining your home's aesthetic value. Below are some tips to help you determine the best time to upgrade your kitchen appliances.

  1. They're Simply Aging
    Every appliance has a lifespan, so knowing the age of each kitchen appliance can help you predict when they might be on their last legs. Refrigerators generally last 13 to 15 years, while dishwashers usually last about 8 or 9 years. Of course, the exact lifespan will depend on the product and brand. If your appliances are getting up there in age, then it's probably time to start thinking about replacements.
  2. Your Kitchen is Out of Style
    If your appliances are wood-paneled, bright green, or look like they're from the 1960s, then they might be a little outdated. While your outdated appliances may work well or have sentimental value, installing modern-looking appliances may be helpful when it comes time to sell your home. Some of these Sarasota homes for sale have classic stainless steel appliances, which really creates a timeless look.
  3. The Noise is Becoming an Issue
    If your dishwasher sounds like a semi-truck or your refrigerator is buzzing, it might be time to start thinking about new appliances. You may have even become used to the sound by now, but you'll notice such a big difference when you upgrade. In fact, some of these Bradenton homes for sale have the quietest kitchen appliances on the market today.
  4. Your Utility Bills Are Too High
    Some old appliances can actually be really expensive to keep around because they're not very energy efficient. Modern refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines consume a fraction of the energy compared to older models from ten or twenty years ago. Upgrading to new appliances may be expensive in the short term, but you may actually see some cost savings down the road.
  5. They Don't Work Like They Used To
    All appliances tend to lose performance over time, so if yours aren't working as well as they used to, then it's probably time to start saving-up for replacements. If it's taking longer for your oven to heat up or your dishes aren't coming out as clean as they used to, it might be time to start shopping.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining the best time to replace your appliances, but age, style, and condition are often the best indicators. For guidance on the best ways to upgrade your kitchen, contact us today!

September
11

All About Living in the Parrish Area

Palm Trees Parrish

The Parrish, FL area has seen significant growth in recent years, and that's no surprise. With plenty to do close to home and an easy commute to nearby communities like Tampa, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, the community has something to offer for everyone. Whether you enjoy spending time outdoors in the sun, catching up on culture, watching live sports, or shopping until you drop, it's easy to find fun around Parrish. Our real estate agents are here to help you get to know the community, with our guide to living in the Parrish area.

  • Parrish Has Homes to Suit Every Buyer
    A central location, strong job market, and diverse local attractions are just a few of the factors that have caused the recent growth of Parrish. That growth has lead to ample new construction in the area, and the average home in Parrish is just six years old. Parrish homes for sale feature something to fit every budget, from perfect starter homes for families to attractive, new luxury listings. 

  • Outdoor Fun from Golf to the Gulf
    Love spending time by the water? Parrish offers easy access to the area's best beaches, fishing spots, and marinas. Enjoy time by the Gulf on the beaches of Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, along with fresh seafood at beachfront dining spots. Of course, living in Parrish also makes it easy to experience the legendary local golf scene, including the scenic, challenging layout at River Wilderness Golf & Country Club.

  • Easy Access to the Best of Southwest Florida
    You'll find plenty to do close to home in Parrish, and even more when you visit the other dynamic, local Florida communities within short driving distance. Communities like Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, and St. Petersburg are all close by. Enjoy access to a diverse collection of job markets with a short daily commute, and find fun for every member of the family with nearby attractions for all ages. When you live in Parrish, the best of Southwest Florida is always waiting just outside your front door.

  • Enjoy Live Sports and Entertainment Close to Home
    If you love live sports, the Parrish area has action during every season. Catch your favorite MLB team tuning up for the season each spring, with the Yankees in Tampa, the Pirates in Bradenton, the Orioles in Sarasota, and the Phillies in Clearwater. Tampa is also home to the Lightning of the NHL, the Buccaneers of the NFL, and the Rays of MLB.

    There's plenty of culture in the area, too, with the Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Symphony, and Sarasota Ballet just a short drive from home. The many performance venues around Tampa also attract world-class performers, including some of the biggest names in music.

  • Local History and So Much More Near Parrish
    Art, science, history... the museums around Parrish offer something for every interest. The Florida Railroad Museum, located within Parrish, offers a trip back to the 1940s and 1950s when railroads were one of the most popular ways to travel. In nearby Sarasota, you'll find the historic Ringling Museum of Art, Selby Botanical Gardensand Mote Marine Aquarium. Just over the Sunshine Skyway, in St. Petersburg you'll find The Dali Museum and in Tampa, The Florida Aquarium. There's so much to discover when you call Parrish home!

Ready to enjoy all the perks of living in Parrish? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Parrish, FL area.

August
30

How to Find the Right Agent to Sell Your Florida Home

Pick the Right Agent to Sell Your Home
Once you've decided to sell your home, the next step is to find the right real estate agent to help you get the job done efficiently and to your satisfaction. The trick to finding an agent that has your best interests is to do some research ahead of time and to be open and honest during your initial meeting with them. Our REALTORS® are always on top of the housing market and have built a strong reputation with clients who are buying or selling Florida real estate. Before you select your agent, prepare some questions to ask up front and know what characteristics you should be looking for during your first meeting. 

Experience Matters
Just as in any field, skill and knowledge are gained over time in the real estate industry. One of the first questions you might want to ask a prospective agent is about their experience. Aside from inquiring about the number of years an agent has working in the field and with their firm, it's important to ask about their recent performance. A good agent should be proud to share their track record with you when you ask about the number of sales during the past year and the percentage of listings that have sold.

Understand the Plan
Asking an agent to explain their specific plan to market your home is not only recommended, but it's also smart. It's much better to understand how your agent will work to get your home the best exposure and the most offers than to automatically assume their plan will work for you. Discuss their marketing strategies including online visibility, signage, and local advertisements. Inquire about how the lockbox will be handled, home showings, and an estimated time frame.

Negotiation and Communication
Get a feel for the agent's communication style while you're discussing the home selling process, but don't be afraid to ask them directly about their negotiation skills. After all, your agent will be the one acting on your behalf during this time period. You'll want to know that they have excellent negotiation tactics and that they're willing to put them to use for you. Communication is crucial in working with an agent, and it's best to understand how and when they'll be communicating with you about offers, updates, and changing market trends.

Dollars and Cents
Have the agent explain how their commission works during your initial meeting. You might think that an agent requiring less commission is a wise choice, but a well-paid, experienced agent has most likely earned a reputation for excellence. It's important to consider a combination of factors when selecting an agent.

Pitch Perfect
Finally, you might ask the agent why they believe they would be the best choice for selling your home. This question gives the agent an opportunity to pitch their qualifications to you, and you'll be able to see how effective their selling skills are right away.

Choosing the right agent to market your home is a huge decision that will affect the entire process, hopefully in a positive way. When you're ready to list your home for sale, contact our team at Wagner Realty to understand what it's like to work with the best in the business.  Our 200+ Associates are licensed REALTORS® and belong to the local, state and National Associations of REALTORS®.

Contact Wagner Realty

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 06/25/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 06/25/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Sat 06/25/2022 7:23:12 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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